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Friday, April 23, 2021

Weaponizing Racism

In The Politics of Autism, I analyze the discredited notion that vaccines cause autism. This bogus idea can hurt people by allowing diseases to spread  And among those diseases could be COVID-19.

Jonathan Jarry at McGill University:
Over the years, Kennedy’s misguided idée fixe has snowballed and gained impressive momentum. He has propagated numerous falsehoods about the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been a mainstay at the AutismOne conference, which attracts fake experts convinced that vaccines cause autism. In his last appearance as keynote speaker, he incited attendees to evangelize for the anti-vaccination movement, concluding that he would see them “on the barricades.” Kennedy was asked to chair a “vaccine safety task force” for the Trump administration in 2017. (The task force would end up never materializing.) He also served as executive producer for the anti-vaccination “documentary” Vaxxed II: The People’s Truth. Now, his own corporation has released an anti-vaccine movie, one which is directed toward people of colour.

The movie’s title is sensational click-bait. Medical Racism: The New Apartheid. It is a project of CHD Films, a division of Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense (formerly known as the World Mercury Project). As NBC News reported when the movie was released a month ago, its producers include the founder of a private school that boasts of not enforcing vaccination mandates; a Nation of Islam minister who falsely claimed that childhood vaccines are genetically modified to harm children of colour; and a nonprofit CEO who promoted the misinformation campaign of America’s Frontline Doctors.