Dave Chappelle Discusses the Challenges of Navigating the COVID-19 Pandemic with Joe Rogan — ‘People Are At the Mercy of Someone They Don’t Necessarily Trust’

Dave Chappelle and Donnell Rawlings recently visited Joe Rogan to talk about a number of topics, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the podcast, everyone shared their thoughts on the future. The general consensus was that during such an unprecedented time, the American people are having a hard time knowing who and what to trust.   

Joe Rogan says everyone must assess the risks of taking the vaccine

Dave Chappelle
Dave Chappelle | Sean Rayford/Getty Images

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Rogan has mentioned his disdain for the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic numerous times. During a recent episode of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, he discussed a possible vaccination being in the works. At this point, he feels like it’s going to be up to the people to decide how they want to move forward, and if they’re willing to risk getting the vaccination. 

“Here’s the thing; we never signed up to let people tell us that we can and can’t take risks or go to work,” Rogan said. “And by saying that, ‘If you do it, you’re going to kill other people,’ that’s what changed the game. And so everybody has to figure out how much of that they’re willing to accept, and how much are they not. And whether or not they’re willing to take a shot, take this vaccine without knowing the long-term effects of it, or worrying about the long term effects of it. …”

Dave Chappelle says the ‘core of the issue’ is trust

While Rogan focused his thought on the vaccine, Chappelle placed more emphasis on human psychology. In his mind, the larger issue is the lack of trust people have for larger societal systems.

“I think that at the core of this issue, it’s just trust,” Chappelle said. “Do you trust these sources? And people realize that they’re at the mercy of someone that they don’t necessarily trust. That’s the rub. ‘Don’t touch your own face, and don’t go outside. I’ll tell you when to come out’ … That was a tough one. Especially here, it touches something really sore in the core of an American’s identity. Like you said, ‘How can you tell me to do this?’ It’s crazy man, this was a tough one here.” 

Dave Chappelle remembers the exact moment things changed

Chappelle also lamented how difficult it was for him to accept the reality of the pandemic’s implications. 

“That was very difficult,” Chappelle said. “I was fine, but not knowing when you can work, not knowing when you can move around, not being able to see my mother. You know, you would’ve never thought.” 

Chappelle then recalled the moment he realized the COVID-19 pandemic had gotten serious.

“If someone had told me 11 months ago, even the night before. The last night we were on tour … in Milwaukee, the last show … the energy had changed. It went from festive to like, people looked worried when I got off stage. … And then the horn starts ringing that they’re gonna shut the country down. I literally go, ‘That’s impossible.’ …”

Rogan and Chappelle then spoke about the challenges of interacting with other people after the severity of the pandemic was realized.