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Anti-vaccine Robert F Kennedy Jr running for President

One of the more virulent leaders of the anti-vaccine movement, Robert F Kennedy Jr, has filed paperwork to challenge Joe Biden in the Democratic primaries for President in 2024. Despite his anti-vaccine views, Kennedy has about the same chance of winning the nomination as a vaccine causes harm, which is nearly 0.

There are Kennedys that I might vote for in an election, but this Kennedy is clueless about vaccines and is delusional about his chances of unseating Biden. It may be just a method to raise money for his anti-vaccine cause.

I try to steer away from politics in my writing because others are better educated and experienced in writing on that. But when it comes to that area where anti-vaccine and politics overlap, like with Kennedy, I need to jump in headfirst.

Who is Robert F Kennedy Jr?

Although most of us who follow the anti-vaccine quacks are well aware of Kennedy, I just thought I would spend a bit of your time outlining his biography.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr is the scion of the Kennedy family — he is the son of Robert F Kennedy, who was assassinated while running for President in 1968, and nephew of President John F Kennedy, who was also assassinated.

Before he began his anti-vaccine career, he became strongly involved in environmental law. Despite his anti-science beliefs about vaccines, he follows the science on environmental issues like climate change. Like a lot of science deniers, he picks and chooses what science he accepts and rejects.

RFK Jr has a long history of campaigning against vaccines, because, as he tells it, some random woman claimed that her son’s autism was caused by mercury in a childhood vaccine. Of course, “mercury” (actually, thiomersal which is not equivalent to mercury) hasn’t been in vaccines for decades, and the vast body of real science has again and again and again shown that vaccines are not linked to autism.

To push his anti-vaccine beliefs, he set up “Children’s Health Defense,” an organization that pushes all kinds of false information about vaccines and files lawsuits to further its anti-vaccine agenda.

In 2021, he was named one of the “Disinformation Dozen” by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British non-profit that tracks conspiracy theories and misinformation across the globe.

Recently, the New York Post investigated Kennedy’s moneymaking activities about vaccines and came up with some amusing numbers.

Let’s take a look at Kennedy’s income, all related to his anti-vaccine bunk:

  • He earned $345,561 in 2020 as the chairman of his anti-vaccine organization, Children’s Health Defense. This is a huge pay raise of more than $90,000 over his 2019 salary. Obviously, I am on the wrong side of the vaccine discussion, and I should sell my ethics and become an anti-vaccine shill since it is much more profitable. Probably not.
  • Kennedy also made $116,683 in 2019 as president of the Riverkeeper Alliance, an environmental charity to clean up the Hudson River. I don’t begrudge him that, because despite how despicable he is about vaccines, I am way over on his side with respect to the environment. I am just mentioning this because he’s not exactly short of cash.
  • But now we come to where he’s raking in the cash, his anti-vaccine diatribe, “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” which has sold 390,000 hardback copies at $32.50 each, according to NPD BookScan, plus 185,000 e-books and 142,000 audiobooks since its Nov. 17 release. According to the New York Post, “Authors typically receive 20 to 30 percent in royalties on hardcover sales, which would translate to a windfall of $2.5 million to $3.8 million for Kennedy, plus additional money from any advance and e-book sales, but it’s not clear how much the author has earned.”
person holding a vaccine
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

Anti-vaccine Kennedy should not be President

Let me count the ways why Kennedy should not get the Democratic nomination and, if he received that, then the Presidency. Again, I know there is a nearly 0% chance of this happening, but I want to remind the reader why they should not consider voting for this person.

  1. Kennedy begged Donald Trump to be the nation’s Vaccine Czar. Although it never happened, it’s difficult to resolve the contradiction of a so-called liberal Democrat getting warm and cozy with Trump.
  2. Kennedy is no liberal. Although both liberals and conservatives were pro-science just a generation ago, it is no longer so. Kennedy may be pro-science when it comes to climate change, but he is scientifically and medically wrong when it comes to the science of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
  3. Despite being a lawyer, Kennedy has no clue about patents. He thinks that the CDC profits from its patents and that’s why it can’t be trusted about its vaccine policies.
  4. Kennedy is completely wrong about the HPV vaccine. Here are the basic facts about the vaccine — the vaccine is extremely safe and could prevent over 43,000 cancers a year.
  5. Kennedy doesn’t understand the constitutionality of vaccine mandates.
  6. RFK Jr is wrong about Dr. Paul Offit.
  7. The Kennedy family, actual real liberals who wouldn’t be caught within 100 km of Donald Trump, strongly and publicly rebuked RFK Jr for his anti-vaccine viewpoints.

I could go on and on about Robert F Kennedy Jr and his vaccine beliefs. But he’s clueless about everything to do with vaccines, inventing false claims out of the thin air just to push his anti-vaccine agenda.

I know he has no chance of getting the nomination, but I also thought the same thing of Trump in 2016 (which is why I don’t write about politics). I don’t know why he thinks he has a pathway to the White House in that he’s way too liberal for Republican voters and he is loathed by Democrats. Maybe he’s angling to be a VP candidate for Trump or someone. Or he’s so full of himself that he thinks he can do it.

Please, don’t vote for this crackpot anti-vaxxer.

Michael Simpson

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