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Thursday, December 21, 2023

RFK Jr. and Whoppers of the Year

 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.

At,  D'Angelo Gore, Lori Robertson and Robert Farley list RFK Jr.'s misinformation campaign as one of the"Whoppers of the Year."

RFK Jr.’s misinformation campaign. This year, after announcing his bid for the presidency, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. took his yearslong effort to spread misinformation about vaccines and health to the campaign trail. Now running as an independent, Kennedy has repeated so many false and misleading claims to voters that we ran a three-part series on what he gets wrong.

One of his most common falsehoods is that vaccines “are the only medical product that is not safety-tested prior to licensure.” All vaccines undergo safety testing prior to authorization or approval. He has continued to push the debunked claim that vaccines cause autism — despite extensive scientific study of childhood vaccines that has found no connection to autism. And then there are his distortions of the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccines. He falsely said that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, may have been “ethnically targeted” to “attack Caucasians and Black people,” while Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people are the “most immune” to the disease. Kennedy also has advocated ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine as effective treatments for COVID-19, contrary to several large, randomized controlled trials that have found no benefits for COVID-19 patients receiving the medications.