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What Neil Young And Joni Mitchell Have Said About Their Battles With Polio

TheThings logo TheThings 5/4/2022 James J. Jackson
© Provided by TheThings

The drama continues to unfold between Joe Rogan, Neil Young, and Spotify about the importance of vaccines. After Young pulled his music from the streaming platform as a protest against their enabling of Rogan's problematic and dangerous rhetoric about COVID and COVID vaccines, Mitchell joined Young in the departure as an act of solidarity.

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Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are both survivors of Polio, which like COVID can leave its survivors disabled for life and was only cured by the vaccines developed by scientist Jonas Sulk. Also, like COVID, some of the most vulnerable victims of Polio were children. Mitchell and Young both contracted the disease before they could get a vaccine. The two are proud survivors, and they will not be silent so long as men like Rogan keep getting away with spreading misinformation.

Polio Made Neil Young Despise Medical Misinformation

The following is a direct quote from Neil Young's first statement when he announced the removal of his music from Spotify, "Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy." Also, in a letter to his manager and the President of Warner Music, Young stated "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both." Strong words Mr. Young, but if one had a disease that nearly took away their ability to walk, they might understand why Young is so pro-vax.

It Left Them Both Disabled For Life

Although both Young and Mitchell survived Polio, the disease still left the two of them with permanent health problems thereafter. Mitchell said that while suffering from the disease she was unable to walk, that her spine was "mangled" and "deformed" and kept her bedridden for months at a time. Mitchell was nine years old when she caught the disease. Young was left partially paralyzed on his left side. The pair still deal with health issues caused by their Polio diagnoses to this very day.

Mitchell Left Spotify After Young Did Out Of Solidarity

These are Mitchell's exact words regarding why she left Spotify after Neil Young did, "Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue." Mitchell also accused Spotify of spreading "fake information" about vaccines. Unlike Mitchell, Young did not mention the word "vaccines" in his initial statement. However, his stance on vaccines was well documented before the drama with Spotify unfolded thanks to Young's father, a journalist, who documented his son's journey and survival.

Related: Joe Rogan Apologizes To Spotify For Neil Young Backlash

Joni Mitchell Taught Herself To Walk Again

Get ready to cry. Not only was Joni Mitchell only nine years old when she was hospitalized and suffering from the disease, but her motivation for teaching herself to walk again was also both adorable and heartbreaking. Mitchell pushed herself to learn to walk again because she did not want to miss Christmas with her family. Imagine a nine-year-old girl, with a deformed spine, trying to walk again so they don't miss a visit from Santa Claus. Yeah... need a tissue yet?

Neil Young Also Has A Disabled Child

Young's disability and childhood hospitalization have given him a degree of understanding and experience that has only helped him as a father. Particularly, it helps him raise and support and protect his son Ben. Ben is both a quadriplegic and has cerebral palsy. So just to review, Neil Young survived a disease that left him permanently disabled and nearly killed him when he was a child and now has a permanently disabled child with an uncurable disease. It's fair to say the man has a lot going on.

Joni Mitchell Has Had Other Health Problems

In addition to surviving polio, Mitchell has also survived a brain aneurysm and has long suffered from something called Morgellons disease. Morgellons is a rare condition where that involves fibers appearing underneath the skin or emerging from slow-healing skin sores. The condition has nearly caused Mitchell to quit recording and performing music at times.

Related: The Truth About Phil Collins' Health Issues

Neil Young Wants Workers To Quit Spotify Too

Young did not stop at pulling his music from the platform. After his ultimate departure, Young implored employees to leave the company as well. "Join me as I move my money away from the damage causers or you will unintentionally be one of them... Get out of that place before it eats up your soul." Harsh words from a man and loving father who clearly feels very strongly about vaccines and medical misinformation. Although Rogan continues to podcast and spread misinformation, Young and Mitchell have taken a firm stand against his lies and bullying. As the drama between Young, Mitchell, Rogan, and Spotify first unfolded, thousands of users left the streaming service to join Amazon and Apple Music. Spotify's stock also took a major hit. Rogan might still be on the air, but Young and Mitchell gave a serious blow and took a major stand for survivors.

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