A working checklist of RFK Jr.'s controversies

In Might 2019, members of now-Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s circle of relatives publicly denounced their brother and uncle for his vocal distrust of vaccines, a stance they described as having “heartbreaking penalties.” “We love Bobby,” the trio of family members wrote in an op-ed for Politico journal, and “we stand behind him in his ongoing struggle to guard the environment.” However he “has helped to unfold harmful misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing mistrust of the science behind vaccines.” That stated, anti-vax rhetoric is just one piece of RFK Jr.’s more and more controversial puzzle, despite which he has managed to launch a to date considerably decently profitable marketing campaign for the White Home (although issues could also be beginning to bitter). This is a take a look at among the different feedback and conspiracy theories which have landed the environmental lawyer in sizzling water over time.

Promoted anti-vaccine rhetoric

Although Kennedy vehemently insists he isn’t anti-vaccine, his report on the matter definitely suggests in any other case. Most notably, he has promoted the “scientifically discredited perception that childhood vaccines trigger autism,” The New York Instances reported, a notion that has “been rejected by greater than a dozen peer-reviewed scientific research throughout a number of nations.”

Furthermore, he has repeatedly questioned the security of the Covid-19 vaccine, made quite a few deceptive claims about the best way vaccines are examined, and even falsely alleged that HIV, the virus that later results in AIDS if left untreated, originated from a vaccine program, in response to CNN reality checker and reporter Daniel Dale. “So what do you name somebody like Mr. Kennedy who devotes their time, power, public remarks to devoting totally faux claims about vaccines killing folks in all method of how?” Dale mused in an look on “CNN Information Central.” “I believe ‘anti-vax’ is a good descriptor.”

Invoked Hitler when talking out towards vaccine mandates

Talking at a rally towards mandates in Washington, D.C. in early 2022, Kennedy invoked Hitler and Nazi Germany as he lampooned Covid-19 jab insurance policies in america. “Even in Hitler Germany (sic), you could possibly … cross the Alps into Switzerland. You might conceal in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” Kennedy stated. “I visited, in 1962, East Germany with my father and met individuals who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was potential. Many died, true, but it surely was potential.” He shortly drew backlash for the feedback, which critics noticed as a suggestion that issues had been higher for these alive through the Holocaust than they’re in the present day. 

Steered Covid was designed to spare Jews and Chinese language folks

In a video that surfaced in July 2023, Kennedy was caught claiming that Covid may have been a bioweapon designed to focus on and disproportionately assault “sure races,” like Caucasians and Black folks, and spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese language folks, who he stated are the “most immune” to the virus. “We do not know whether or not it was intentionally focused or not,” he stated within the video, “however there are papers on the market that present the racial or ethnic differential and affect.” He later insisted that he by no means “urged that the Covid-19 virus was focused to spare Jews” and was as an alternative referring to a examine that “serves as a type of proof of idea for ethnically focused bioweapons,” per CNN.

Blamed gender dysphoria on chemical substances within the surroundings

Very similar to different conspiracy theorists, Kennedy has repeatedly alleged that publicity to chemical substances — endocrine disruptors, specifically — is inflicting gender dysphoria in kids and contributing to an increase in LGBTQ+ youth. Per The Washington Examiner, endocrine disruptors are “chemical substances that intrude with the physique’s hormones and are generally present in pesticides and plastic.” Talking on a June 2022 episode of his podcast, Kennedy stated he needs to “pursue only one query on these … endocrine disruptors” as a result of “we’re seeing these impacts that individuals suspect are very completely different than in ages previous about sexual identification amongst kids and sexual confusion, gender confusion.” His feedback had been based mostly on a examine that discovered that one endocrine disruptor, particularly, could cause a small share of male frogs to turn out to be feminine, although specialists say there isn’t any proof that such chemical substances trigger gender dysphoria in human kids. A Kennedy spokesperson later stated the remarks had been “mischaracterized,” and that his shopper was “merely suggesting that, given copious analysis on the consequences on different vertebrates, this risk deserves additional analysis.”

Believes the 2004 presidential election was stolen

Years earlier than former President Donald Trump cried voter fraud, RFK Jr. alleged the 2004 presidential election had been stolen from Democrat John Kerry for the exact same cause. And although there had been a “breakdown of the election system in Ohio” on the time, Forbes reported, the Democratic Social gathering discovered no proof of widespread fraud in a post-election evaluation. A Washington Put up article from June suggests Kennedy believes the competition was stolen to at the present time.

Unfold conspiracies about JFK’s demise

Even in 2023, RFK Jr. has continued to advertise the unfounded principle that the CIA killed his uncle, former President John F. Kennedy. As just lately as Might, Kennedy alleged throughout an interview with Fox Information’ Sean Hannity that former CIA director Allen W. Dulles helped cowl up the company’s involvement in JFK’s assassination whereas concurrently serving on the fee helmed to research it. That very same probe, generally known as the Warren Fee, in the end decided that whereas some type of conspiracy doubtless performed a component in Kennedy’s demise, the CIA was not concerned.

Linked college shootings with antidepressants

Talking to comic Invoice Maher on an episode of the podcast “Membership Random with Invoice Maher,” Kennedy linked a rise at school shootings to the elevated prescription of antidepressants. “Youngsters all the time had entry to weapons, and there was no time in American historical past or human historical past the place children had been going to varsities and taking pictures their classmates,” he informed Maher, repeating a declare he has made earlier than. “It actually began taking place conterminous with the introduction of those medication, with Prozac and the opposite medication.” Ragy Girgis, an affiliate professor of medical psychiatry at Columbia College, informed the Instances that scientists have discovered “no organic plausibility” of a hyperlink between using antidepressants and mass shootings. Certainly, “if there was a connection or hyperlink, one would anticipate it to be pronounced, or at the very least a lot better than we’re seeing,” Dr. James Knoll of SUNY Upstate Medical College informed Politifact in 2019.