President Joe Biden maintains a formidable lead among the potential Democratic primary electorate following the entrance of Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist who is former President John F. Kennedy’s nephew, according to a new Morning Consult survey...Seven in 10 potential Democratic primary voters said they would support Biden for re-nomination, while 10% said they would vote for Kennedy and 4% said they would back self-help author Marianne Williamson, according to the April 7-9 survey.
Kennedy, the son of former U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, has become one of the most prominent faces of the anti-vaccine movement, according to experts. He is the founder of Children's Health Defense, a nonprofit organization known mainly for its anti-vaccine efforts. The group was kicked off Instagram and Facebook last year for spreading misleading claims about vaccines and other public health measures.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization's revenues doubled to $6.8 million, according to filings made with charity regulators.
Kennedy's bid for the presidency "puts science squarely on the ballot," said Brian Castrucci, president of De Beaumont Foundation, a group dedicated to advancing public health policy. "His campaigns make the benefits of vaccines a question up for debate rather than settled science."
"His campaign would platform a set of dangerous beliefs with the possibility of not only harming the health of the public but the health of our communities and economy as well," Castrucci told ABC News. "We would have a candidate who each day would be spreading scientific misinformation and, in the process, legitimizing vaccine hesitancy and resistance."