Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of late 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, was known for his anti-vaccination advocacy.
In 2014, the lifelong Democrat edited a book called Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak: The Evidence Supporting the Immediate Removal of Mercury—a Known Neurotoxin—from Vaccines.
Earlier in 2005, he wrote an article in Salon, called “Deadly Immunity,” about a link between vaccinations and autism that was later retracted due to factual errors.
Now, his own family has come forward in a Politico op-ed about how his anti-vax stance “has helped to spread dangerous misinformation.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) May 8, 2019
His sister Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a former lieutenant governor; brother Joseph P. Kennedy II, a former congressman; and niece Maeve Kennedy McKean, executive director of Georgetown University’s Global Health Initiatives, all wrote in the Politico article expressing, first and foremost, their love for “Bobby” and called him one of the “great champions of the environment.”
But their adulation stopped there.
“However, on vaccines he is wrong.”
— bballs (@44bobbo) May 8, 2019
In response to the data shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which stated there were over 764 cases of measles in the U.S. since January 1, the members of the family wrote:
“These tragic numbers are caused by the growing fear and mistrust of vaccines — amplified by internet doomsayers.”
RFK Jr has always struck me as a bit crackers.
— will richardson (@wrcactus) May 8, 2019
They added that their brother is wrong about vaccinations, and his spreading of misinformation is “having heartbreaking consequences.”
About time. He has done tremendous damage through his willful gnornqce of a basic scientific fact- vaccines are one of the greatest public health advances in human history. His last name shouldn’t give him a platform to spread untruth.
— David Speiser (@DavidSpeiser) May 8, 2019
Wow. Unprecedented for this family.
— Karyn Brockman (@kbrockman4) May 8, 2019
The family mentioned that public health officials are facing challenges due to people being “more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases because they’ve been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact.”
Someone should sue him. Advising parents to turn their babies into #TyphoidMarys for his ignorance is a human rights atrocity.
— Diversified Dogma (@1PatRogers) May 8, 2019
The trio added:
“But that’s not luck; it’s the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years.
“We are proud of the history of our family as advocates of public health and promoters of immunization campaigns to bring life-saving vaccines to the poorest and most remote corners of America and the world, where children are the least likely to receive their full course of vaccinations.”
“On this issue, Bobby is an outlier in the Kennedy family.”
Thank you, Kennedy family.
— Elizabeth Henry (@HenryLeerhenry) May 8, 2019
Earlier this year, Kennedy Jr. testified in Washington against a bill that would give parents a personal or philosophical exemption for opting out of requirements to vaccinate their children.