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Sunday, June 18, 2023

RFK Jr. Keeps Pushing the Vaccine-Autism Myth

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.

Antivaxxers are sometimes violent, often abusive, and always wrongA leading anti-vaxxer is presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.  He has repeatedly compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust.  Rolling Stone and Salon retracted an RFK article linking vaccines to autism.

Nikki McCann Ramirez of Rolling Stone at Yahoo reports his recent appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast.
Aside from his last name, Kennedy, who announced his campaign for the presidency in April, is best known for claiming that vaccines cause autism — a debunked assertion that he repeated during his interview with Rogan.

“Everybody will say, ‘There’s just no study that shows autism and vaccines are connected.’ That’s just crazy. That’s people who are not looking at science.”

“It’s part of the religion,” Kennedy added. Rogan agreed.

Kennedy’s reactionary positions have already made him a darling for figures like Rogan and Elon Musk. Musk hosted a forum with Kennedy on Twitter in June. During the discussion, Kennedy ranted about social media companies who had banned vaccine misinformation from their platforms and blamed mass shootings on the use of antidepressants.

Earlier this week, a report from the progressive watchdog Media Matters for America found that Kennedy’s anti-vaccine nonprofit, Children’s Health Defense, has been conducting intense outreach on the white supremacist website Gab.