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Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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Robert Kennedy, Jr. at Celebrity Fight Night XXIII in 2017.
Needles are scary
Anti-vaccination
movement
Icon vax.svg
Pricks against pricks
Robert F. Kennedy Jr... is part of this campaign to attack the institutions committed to reducing the tragedy of preventable infectious diseases. He has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines. And his and others' work against vaccines is having heartbreaking consequences.
—Article co-written by Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy II, and Maeve Kennedy McKean.[1]

Robert Francis Kennedy Jr. (1954–) is an American lawyer, conspiracy theorist, and former Democratic Presidential candidate for the 2024 election who only appears on right-wing podcasts (big brain move).[2][3][4][5] He is most known for his role in the anti-vaccination movement,[6][7][8] the cause to which he has dedicated most of his energy in recent years. Robert didn’t know anyone with peanut allergies as a kid,[9] so it must be the vaccines.[No, not The Onion] By the way, if you are seeing this on a computer, throw it away immediately! It uses Wi-Fi which destroys the brains of its users![10]

He is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, and the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy. However, while he is a member of the Kennedy political dynasty, his incessant prattling about anti-vaccine conspiracy theories has thoroughly alienated him from most of his family members, a tragically common fate for people who get sucked into these obsessions.[1] When he tried to run for the 2024 Democratic nomination, most of his notable family members openly endorsed President Biden, and only a handful of his children and grandchildren even bothered to show up when he launched his campaign.[11] In 2023, his brother, Chris Kennedy, pretended not to know Robert Jr. was running for president, and his sister, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, outright refused to discuss him.[12]

His own wife, actress Cheryl Hines, has at times expressed her disapproval of his anti-vaccine activism, although she has at least publicly stated she supports her husband for president.[13] This family tension isn't new, either. In 2019, Kathleen, her daughter, and Joe Kennedy II co-authored a Politico article expressing their "heartbreak" over Robert Kennedy Jr.'s harmful preoccupation with spreading misinformation. The harshest words came from JFK's grandson Jack Schlossberg, who said:

I've listened to him, I know him. I have no idea why anyone thinks he should be president. What I do know is his candidacy is an embarrassment.[14]

In October 2023, he dropped out of the Democratic Party and announced that he was running as an independent, much to the chagrin of Donald Trump, who was propping him up in the hopes that he'd weaken Biden and now faces a spoiler candidate who always appealed far more to Republicans than he did his erstwhile fellow Democrats.[15][16] To reduce any doubt that RFK continues to be a spoiler candidate after his running as an independent, as late as March 2024, the largest donor to RFK's campaign was also a major donor to Trump's campaign, billionaire Tim MellonWikipedia (heir to the Mellon family fortune).[17][18]

Crimes[edit]

In 1984, RFK pleaded guilty to a single felony charge of heroin possession in South Dakota, and sentenced to probation.[19] In 2002, he was also convicted of criminal trespass at the Vieques, Puerto Rico military base for his part in a civil disobedience action against pollution of the island by the military.[20] For this, he was incarcerated for 30 days either in jail (as most news sources have reported) or in a maximum security prison by his own account.[21] He was temporarily relieved of his compulsive sexual behaviour disorderWikipedia during his incarceration.[22][23]

Riverkeeper[edit]

Prior to becoming an antivaxxer, Kennedy worked for the Riverkeeper environmentalist organization as an attorney. He helped to win lawsuits against polluters and brought large donations to the organization from his celebrity connections. He was also known as a serial fabricator among his colleagues, even going so far as to lie about founding Riverkeeper on his resignation letter. More damaging though was his hiring of a convicted wildlife smuggler to serve on the organization, which caused the actual founder and several board members to resign. A former treasurer of Riverkeeper who had resigned with the other board members believed that Kennedy had not changed from his time at Riverkeeper to his time as antivaxxer, by his use of omitting and distorting facts to manipulate people.[24]

Officially, Kennedy Jr. resigned from Riverkeeper in 2017. In reality, Riverkeeper staff, increasingly tired of Kennedy Jr.'s anti-vaccination bullshit, revolted when Kennedy Jr. met with Donald Trump in January 2017 and afterwards claimed that Trump asked him to chair a "commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity" (a claim denied by Trump officials). Under pressure, rather than being forced out of the organization, Kennedy Jr. agreed to resign instead. Kennedy Jr.'s anti-vaccination stances had previously led to similar conflicts and resignations with other environmental groups (such as the Natural Resources Defense CouncilWikipedia) prior to this event.[25]

Anti-vaccine activism[edit]

They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone. This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.
—Robert F. Kennedy Jr. wins the "What The Fuck Is He Talking About?" Award for April 2015.[26]
In 2018 Kennedy involved himself in a largely forgotten vaccine controversy in the American Samoan islands. That year, two children died after receiving the MMR vaccine, sparking an island-wide furor. Though it was later revealed that two nurses made a critical error administering the vaccines, accidentally introducing expired muscle relaxants into the formula, Kennedy’s nonprofit took to social media to hype the deaths as evidence of vaccine dangers.
Under public pressure, the Samoan prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi halted MMR vaccines on the island. In June of 2019 Kennedy and Hines flew to Samoa, lending celebrity wattage to local anti-vaccine advocates, giving press interviews, and taking a private meeting with the PM.
Over the ensuing months, the island was hit by the largest measles outbreak in its history, infecting 5,707 citizens and killing 83 people, most of them children. The outbreak was so lethal, the prime minister declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations, eventually curtailing the spread.
Vanity Fair[25]

At one point, Kennedy Jr co-hosted a liberal talk radio show called Ring of Fire, syndicated by Westwood One. Any of his broadcasts from before the pandemic had the exact same message, just in a more broadly palatable way with all of the less-savoury stuff firmly sandwiched in deniability.[27] Kennedy Jr. departed from the show sometime in 2018.[28][29]

Many of his previous court cases involved claims of product safety violations and pollution by corporations. Since 2005, he has succumbed to vaccine hysteria and makes the sad mistake of peddling false hope regarding the vaccine/autism conspiracy theory, a stance which initially earned him the chair of Donald Trump's "vaccination safety" committee, before Trump changed his mind.[30][31] This is the point where his family members distanced themselves from him.[32] In addition, Kennedy endorsed the conspiracy theory that the Republicans rigged the 2004 election.[33] He is one of the "Disinformation Dozen", which are the twelve people behind 65% of all vaccine misinformation shared on social media.[34]

Kennedy's anti-vaccination group Children’s Health Defense (formerly called the World Mercury Project) was one of the top two groups that spread misinformation about vaccines on Facebook via anti-vaccination advertisements in 2019.[35] Facebook (sort of) finally started to crack down on groups that spread bullshit like this in 2020. CHD responded by suing Facebook for "censorship".[36] (Despite his prior experience as a lawyer, Kennedy somehow failed to recognize what long-established case law currently says. Generally speaking, what's protected by the First Amendment in this case is Facebook's right to utilize editorial judgment to prevent the publication of bullshit on their platform.Wikipedia). The damage by Facebook's laissez-faire attitude prior to 2020 had already been done however, Children’s Health Defense and three other antivax and COVID denialist group profited and expanded enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic.[37] The three other groups were Del Bigtree's Informed Consent Action Network, Front Line Covid-19 Critical Care AllianceWikipedia and Simone Gold's America’s Frontline Doctors.[37]

In 2022, RFK Jr. spoke a 2020 anti-vaxxer rally in Germany sponsored by the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany that included neo-Nazis.[38] In response to a Daily Kos blogger reporting about RFK Jr.'s speaking at the rally,[39] the blogger was bullied by RFK Jr. and by RFK Jr.'s lawyer, Robert Barnes.[40] The duo had threatened a lawsuit against the blogger unless the blogger took down the article, and consequently put the lie to RFK Jr. being pro-free speech.[40]

Anti-epidemiology activism[edit]

Although it can be accurately argued that his anti-vaccine activism is in itself a form of opposition to the research and treatment of infectious diseases, Kennedy is elsewhere quite explicit in that anyhow. He promised to order the National Institutes of Health to cease any research of infectious diseases for "about eight years" if elected president; he believes they should research obesity and diabetes instead (a view that presents this as a false dichotomy or zero sum game).[41][42] He also said in June 2023: "I do not believe that infectious disease is an enormous threat to human health."[43] That pretty well speaks for itself. He has also attempted to tie the true cause of various diseases (even Spanish flu) to vaccine research, and has even promoted HIV/AIDS denialism.[43] The proposed end of infectious disease research essentially amounts to germ theory denialism, or at least serious callousness on his part, since significant numbers of deaths in the United States are due to infectious bacterial diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, salmonella, Lyme disease and meningococcal disease).[44] Not to mention deaths caused abroad.[45] As confirmation of RFK's germ theory denialism, he was photographed walking barefoot out of an airplane toilet, and issuing a non-apology apology for doing this while he was barefoot in the airport waiting area.[46][note 1] Somebody tell him he might accidentally step on a vaccine needle, please.

COVID conspiracy theories[edit]

Copies of RFK Jr's conspiracy theory book posed next to a picture of his uncle (who is turning in his grave).
The issue with Kennedy is that he long ago entered his own curated world of pseudoscience, in which every respectable position was presumptively false and every major world event presumptively engineered by secretive elites. This is a mental model that has no braking system. Kennedy can only go further and further into his fever swamp, and every effort to contradict him merely demonstrates that his enemies are determined to silence him.
—Johnathan Chait, New York.[48]

Unsurprisingly, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kennedy Jr. started regurgitating many of the other conspiracy theories that sprang up during that time period, such as conspiracy theories surrounding Bill Gates[49] and 5G.[50] Kennedy Jr.'s embrace of conspiracy theories extended to believing the COVID-19 hysteric story that Bill Gates was going to put microchips in vaccines.[51] On September 29, 2021, Kennedy (along with fellow anti-vaccination advocate Joseph Mercola) was booted off YouTube for being a prominent spreader of anti-vaccination bullshit.[52]

One of Kennedy's favorite rhetorical devices is to evoke Godwin's Law by comparing vaccines and other COVID-19 public health safety measures to Nazis and the Holocaust. On 25 January 2022, for instance, Kennedy was widely denounced for comparing vaccine mandate opponents to Jews who hid from Nazis during the Holocaust, even implying that for some reason Anne FrankWikipedia actually had it better than the so-called "fascism" NIAID head Anthony FauciWikipedia was orchestrating. This was hardly the first time that Kennedy had used Nazi analogies in his remarks on the subject.[53][54]

Feud with Fauci[edit]

In mid-November 2021, he wrote The Real Anthony Fauci, a book of conspiratorial bullshit linking Gates, Anthony Fauci, and Big Pharma to some kind of "Global War On Democracy and Public Health",[55] which earned Kennedy high endorsements from the conspiracy theorists and/or alternative medicine folks that you'd expect (e.g. Tucker Carlson, Mike Adams, Robert W. Malone,Wikipedia Joseph Mercola, Sayer Ji, Sherri Tenpenny, etc.).

Later, in an interview done by SPINWikipedia in January 2022, Kennedy promoted the sort of conspiracy bullshit that fueled this book:[56]

  • Kennedy made an unsupported conspiratorial claim that an early drug to treat HIV, AZTWikipedia (which he falsely claimed to be a chemotherapyWikipedia drug), ended up causing "dramatically shortened" lives (also a false claim).[57] Naturally, since Fauci was involved in HIV drug research at the time, Kennedy uses these falsehoods to attack him as an agent of Big Pharma who conspired to promote expensive drugs at the expense of cheap generics in order to pad Big Pharma profits. To further this argument, he bizarrely stated that a medicine called pentamidineWikipedia was very effective against HIV. (Pentamidine does not treat HIV directly; it was approved by the FDA in 1989 to treat pneumocystis carinii pneumonia,Wikipedia a condition largely seen (but not exclusively) in AIDS patients, and at present is far from the only drug available to treat this condition.[58][59])
  • Kennedy promoted hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin, similarly believing that these drugs were being oppressed solely due to Big Pharma not wanting to promote out-of-patent medications. Contrary to the medical literature of the time, he also believed that these medications worked. To prove this, he cited high usage of these drugs in Africa and Asia, and low death rates per capita in many nations in these continents. (This, of course, completely ignores that perhaps other factors contributed to these low mortality rates, such as massive under-reporting in Africa,[60] and greater acceptance of public health measures like face masks in many Asian countries.[61] This also ignores the high mortality rate in other countries that also use hydroxychloroquine to treat malariaWikipedia and ivermectin to treat river blindness,Wikipedia such as many Latin American countries.[62][63])
  • He repeated an unproven theory,[64] often iterated and grossly exaggerated by Rand Paul and Tucker Carlson, that "gain of function" research in Wuhan may have been a factor in starting the pandemic.
  • He insisted that the COVID-19 virus was man-made, citing a theory that linked the COVID-19 virus to the Mòjiāng virus,Wikipedia a theory which has been discredited in a January 2022 Environmental ResearchWikipedia journal study. [65]
  • He bizarrely compared Australia COVID-19 quarantine hotels, used to isolate unvaccinated travelers returning to the country for 14 days to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk,[66] to "concentration camps".
  • He claimed, without any foundation, that COVID-19 public health measures were a "coup d'état against democracy"
  • To top things off, he endorsed the Epoch Times as the best source for "real news".

When confronted by the interviewer with the fact that new COVID-19 cases at the time were overwhelmingly the un-vaccinated, he handwaved away this argument by claiming that this was the result of "crazy statistical gimmicks", citing a bit of his "statistical dancing" of his own imagination to "prove" this.[56]

Fauci responded by calling Kennedy a "very disturbed individual" who was "just full of inaccuracies and distortions".[67]

Ethnic bioweapon[edit]

For more information, see: ethnic bioweapon
The respite from antisemitism was doomed to end. Conspiracy theorists are drawn gravitationally to the Jews, and Kennedy was only able to defy it for so long before his natural and predetermined course set in.
—Johnathan Chait, New York.[48]

On July 15 2023, the New York Post published a video at a press event in Manhattan, where Kennedy Jr. argued that COVID-19 was an "ethnically targeted" microbe ("COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately. COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.") with an implication that the virus was engineered.[68] These comments triggered significant backlash, with multiple organizations accusing Kennedy Jr. of antisemitism and racism/Sinophobia. Multiple members of the Kennedy family likewise condemned the remarks as "deplorable", "hurtful", and "wrong".[69]

Responding to the backlash, Kennedy took to Twitter to deny his seemingly antisemitic remarks. Instead, he claimed that what he meant was that he believed the United States and other governments were developing ethnically targeted bio-weapons.[70][71] To "prove" his point, he cited a single study of a very narrow and specific topic (genetic susceptibility of COVID-19 due to various ACE2Wikipedia and TMPRSS2Wikipedia polymorphismsWikipedia[72]) that hardly justified Kennedy's sweeping claims.[73]

Contrary to his idea, people of Chinese descent were among the most severely affected in New York in 2020. According to a study now published in Public Health Reports, Chinese New Yorkers from March 1 through May 31, 2020 actually had the highest mortality rate (35.7%) of any ethnicity observed.[74][75] That study didn't distinguish people of Jewish descent as a group, however Hasidic (a subcategory of Haredi Jews) communities in New York were noted at the time to have been hard-hit by COVID-19. One person in the community stated in April 2020: "There is not a single Hasidic family that has been untouched. It is a plague on a biblical scale."[76]

Presidential run[edit]

...in alienating your family members through your obsession with conspiracy theories!
The ratfuckers' choice! Left-to-right: QAnon promoter Michael Flynn, RFK Jr., COVID denialist grifter Charlene Bollinger, ratfucker-in-chief Roger Stone

In April 2023, Kennedy Jr. announced that he was running for US president in 2024 as a Democrat, in a long-shot attempt to primary Joe Biden.[77][78] By and large, the rest of the Kennedy family strongly opposed his campaign, due to Kennedy Jr's conspiracy theories on vaccines and other topics.[79]

Kennedy's campaign has been described as a Democratic version of Trump, a "cynical mix of star power and misinformation" and a "dark strand of populism mixed with self-grandeur and self-created reality."[80] Kennedy has also been described as combining a smattering of progressive views (such as on wealth inequality) with positions more in line with MAGA (e.g. anti-vaccination stances, aminosity towards Anthony Fauci,Wikipedia and Vladimir Putin boot-licking on the Russian invasion of Ukraine)[81][82][83] and libertarians (e.g. his first appearance as a presidential candidate was at a cryptocurrency conference).[84][81]

In a sign of his heavy tilt, in defiance of his declared political affiliation, towards the crank side of Republicans, on June 20 2023, Kennedy Jr. was announced as a guest speaker at a gathering in Philadelphia that month of the anti-government extremist [85] group Moms for Liberty,[86] a group who also made headlines that week when one chapter featured (and seemingly endorsed) an Adolf Hitler quote in their online newsletter.[87] Tellingly, also appearing at the conference were many of the Republican 2024 primary election candidates (Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley),[88] as well as other conservative figures such as Dennis Prager and Heritage Foundation president Kevin Roberts.[86] At the time of the announcement, Kennedy appeared to be the only Democrat scheduled to speak at this gathering.[89] Prior to this, Kennedy Jr. had made appearances on podcasts hosted by other figures with a notable appetite for crankery, such as Joe Rogan, Steve Bannon, and Jordan Peterson.[86][90]

As a sign of his appeal to crank libertarians, Kennedy Jr. was endorsed by former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, most likely due to shared sympathies for cryptocurrencies.[91][92] Also, in early June 2023, the then-current Twitter owner Elon Musk (fresh off of a disastrously botched presidential launch for Ron DeSantis) boosted Kennedy Jr. with an online audio chat on Twitter. During this chat, true to form, Kennedy Jr. blamed Prozac for the rise of mass shootings in America, claimed without evidence that "Covid was clearly a bioweapons problem", and was outspoken against the US military support of Ukraine.[93][94] Kennedy fielded questions during the chat from other public figures with similar stances to Musk and Kennedy, such as the Putin apologist[95] Tulsi Gabbard and the anti-progressive,[96] anti-woke,[97] anti-renewable energy[98] and transphobic hysteric[99] Michael Shellenberger.Wikipedia[100]

In California, Kennedy and Shanahan are running on in the American Independent Party, which has long been associated with segregationists and racists, starting with its founder, George Wallace.[101] Kennedy has claimed that the party has changed since its founding, but the evidence seems otherwise: in the 2020 Presidential Election raging antisemite Ye was their Vice Presidential candidate, and as recently as 2022, they were promoting the former former chairman Robert J. Walters' racialist book.[101]

Donors[edit]

As of June 30, 2023, a plurality (38.5%) of his donors, among those who contributed the maximum individual amount (96 individuals total), were GOP donors. 19.8% were Democratic donors, 31.3% had no such history of recorded political contributions, 8.3% had donated to both parties, and 2.1% had donated to third parties.[102][103] The campaign reported that it had received about $6.3 million dollars in donations altogether, as of July 2023. At least $100,000 of that came from donors who were also Trump or DeSantis committee donors. Six notable big donors to RFK Jr.'s campaign, in particular, are hedge fund billionaire Bill AckmanWikipedia (also a Vivek Ramaswamy fan), former PayPal executive David O. SacksWikipedia (an Elon Musk ally), billionaire Kenneth Fisher,Wikipedia Wall Street banking executive Omeed Malik, former Bank of America executive Joe Voboril, and apparently even racist English musician Eric Clapton, despite the fact that such donations from foreign nationals would be illegal according to CNBC.[104][105][106]

On July 31, 2023, a super PAC supporting RFK Jr., American Values 2024, released its mid-year financial disclosures. This disclosed that more than half ($5 million) of the PAC's money for the first half of 2023 ($9.8 million) came from GOP megadonor Timothy Mellon.Wikipedia Mellon has previously donated millions of dollars to pro-Trump groups. A further $4.7 million came from another individual, Gavin de Becker.Wikipedia De Becker was previously a donor to US Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, although de Becker otherwise identifies himself as a Democrat.[107][108]

Kennedy picked Nicole Shanahan as his running mate. Prior to being picked, she had been a major donor to the American Values PAC that supported Kennedy.[109] She is the former spouse of Google co-founder Sergei Brin. Shanahan is also an anti-vaxxer, but she tries to confuse people by denying this and claiming that she is just skeptical of vaccines.[110]

Nothing bad ever happens to the Kennedys[edit]

In September 2023, a man falsely impersonating a federal officer and wielding a loaded gun was arrested at an RFK Jr. event.[111] The Kennedy campaign claimed the man asked to be "immediately" taken to RFK Jr. and erroneously claimed to be part of his security detail.[112][111] It doesn't take a genius to figure out this joker may have wanted to become the next Lee Harvey Oswald.

Switch to an independent run[edit]

Former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura campaigning for Kennedy in the critical swing state of Arizona in 2024.

On October 9 2023, Kennedy Jr. ended his primary challenge and announced that he was running for president as an independent.[113] Reports suggest that by March 2024, Kennedy Jr. and his team had approached at least half a dozen people to serve as his running mate on an independent ticket, including Tulsi Gabbard, Rand Paul and Andrew Yang, but that only fellow cranks Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura had shown any interest.[114]

Vanity Fair expose[edit]

On July 2 2024, the magazine Vanity FairWikipedia posted a long expose of Kennedy Jr. with several unflattering allegations. Among the revelations were an allegation that he bragged about eating a dog in Korea; that Kennedy was sexually involved with dozens of women during his marriage to second wife Mary Richardson; that Kennedy had a habit of texting nude photos of women to friends during this same marriage; and that in the late 1990s, Kennedy sexually assaulted a babysitter. The article also detailed his involvement in the Murder of Martha MoxleyWikipedia case, where Kennedy attested to the innocence of convicted murderer (and cousin) Michael Skakel with what Martha Moxley's mother Dorthy (and others) saw as a series of twisted truths and flat out falsehoods.[25]

Kennedy Jr. denied the dog eating allegation but brushed off other allegations in the article, calling the Vanity Fair article "a lot of garbage" but simultaneously stating "I'm not a church boy... I had a very, very rambunctious youth". Kennedy Jr. also refused to comment on the alleged sexual assault.[115][116]

But that's not all, folks[edit]

Kennedy is also against water fluoridation.[117]

Chemicals are turning the frogs trans![edit]

Echoing the infamous "gay frogs" of Alex Jones, in an interview with Jordan Peterson in June 2023 (later repeated on a Joe Rogan podcast that same month), Kennedy theorized that certain chemicals in the "soup of toxic chemicals" in the water supply could be turning kids transgender. Kennedy based this conspiracy theory on the same 2002 study that Jones used, which claimed that atrazineWikipedia caused frogs to develop hermaphrodite characteristics. Kennedy's conspiracy theory is obviously bogus; aside from the fact that human biology and frog biology are quite different, later experiments have been unable to replicate the results of that 2002 study.[118][119]

Antidepressants cause school shootings! (And Elon Musk is great)[edit]

Surprising no one, the gullible Elon Musk has a positive view of Kennedy, and the two have traded praise. During Kennedy's campaign launch, Musk hosted a two hour conversation with the candidate on Twitter, where the candidate issued some interestingly wacky statements like, "Prior to the introduction of Prozac," school shootings weren't a problem.[120] There is, of course, absolutely no scientifically established link between antidepressants and school shootings,[121][note 2] and the conspiracy theory is notably widely spread by the Church of Scientology (who take an anti-psychiatry stance).[120] Rather than address the school shooting crisis with common-sense gun control, Kennedy decided to take the Republican approach and endorse outfitting schools with metal detectors, bag screeners, and bans on sharp objects.[120] Have fun sending your kids to class in a world like that.

Kennedy also spent the interview lavishing praise on Elon Musk, comparing him to the Patriots of the American Revolution saying "What is it in your background that you think gave you such firm convictions where you'd be willing to take this huge, massive, unspeakable economic hit on behalf of a principle for a country in which you weren't even born?"[120] How pathetic.

The 2004 election was stolen![edit]

See the main article on this topic: 2004 U.S. presidential election
Yeah, we wish Kerry had won Ohio, too. But he didn't.

Foreshadowing later, more dangerous claims by President Donald Trump, Kennedy spent years chasing his theory that George W. Bush rigged the 2004 election against Democratic candidate John Kerry. His conspiracy theory centers on Ohio, claiming that Republican state officials acted on orders from the White House to intentionally purge registered Democrats from the voter registration system, preventing them from casting ballots for Kerry.[123]

While there were a large number of voters, 129,543 to be exact, who encountered this problem at their polling places, audits and Democratic Party investigations found that the impacted voters were roughly evenly split between the two parties.[123] Also, Kerry actually won more votes than Al Gore in many areas, including 88,500 more votes from Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is.[124] Most damningly for the theory, Ohio elections are run at the county level by boards that are careful to have bipartisan makeup, so the various fuckups on Election Day were not a grand Republican conspiracy.[124] Ohio pretty much did exactly what polls predicted: vote for Bush by a fairly narrow margin. Thus, there is no evidence to indicate that Kerry won Ohio either way. But a good conspiracy theorist never lets a debunking keep him down.

The CIA killed JFK![edit]

See the main article on this topic: John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories

Never one to miss a chance to further piss off his own family members, Kennedy has repeatedly claimed that the CIA orchestrated the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His theory, piggybacking on a broader cultural belief, claims that the CIA killed the president because he was refusing to embroil the United States in the growing crisis in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.[125] The CIA apparently wanted a war in Southeast Asia in order to fuel the military-industrial complex. As recently as 2023, RFK Jr. claimed the evidence is "overwhelming" that the CIA was responsible.[125] Kennedy told Joe Rogan he "takes precautions" on the off chance that the CIA decides to gun for him.[126]

There's a dead worm in my brain![edit]

In 2024, RFK announced that there was a dead parasitic worm in his brain, and that it was inoperable.[127] It was suspected to be a pork tapeworm, which is exceedingly rare in the United States, but that he may have picked up in his travels. He was also diagnosed with mercury poisoning apparently from his insatiable appetite for tunafish sandwiches, and with short- and long-term memory loss in 2012.[127] He claimed to have recovered from the memory loss, but gave the wrong answer about the worm:[128]

I offer to eat 5 more brain worms and still beat President Trump and President Biden in a debate. I feel confident of the result even with a six-worm handicap.

His voice[edit]

He began suffering from spasmodic dysphonia,Wikipedia a rare voice disorder, in 2001. This causes his voice to sound strained.[129][130]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Walking barefoot on wet floors in public areas (locker rooms, pools, and presumably toilets) is actually a risk factor for getting plantar warts (a virus).[47]
  2. If anything, they are one method that school shooting survivors use to treat ensuing depression.[122]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 RFK Jr. Is Our Brother and Uncle. He’s Tragically Wrong About Vaccines.. Politico.
  2. Jordan B Peterson & Robert F Kennedy Jr - Rekindling the spirit of the classic democrat
  3. Kennedy Jr., Robert, Twitter post, Febuary 2023.
  4. Fung, Brian, "With Robert F. Kennedy Jr. interview, Musk again uses Twitter to promote candidates aligned with his views", CNN 5 June 2023.
  5. *The Ben Shapiro Show* Ep. 1771, "Democrats Declare RFK Jr. The Enemy"].
  6. (March 26, 2021). "Covid vaccine: Social media urged to remove 'disinfo dozen'". BBC News.
  7. David Gorski (December 18, 2023). "RFK Jr. and his 'I’m not anti-vaccine' rejoinder to being confronted with his past antivax statements: A primer". Science-Based Medicine.
  8. Jessica McDonald (November 8, 2023). "RFK Jr. Incorrectly Denies Past Remarks on Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness". FactCheck.org.
  9. The Peanut Allergy Epidemic: Fraser, Heather. (2017) Forward by Robert Kennedy Jr.
  10. Exerpt from *The Joe Rogan Experience]* Ep. #1999, Robert Kennedy Jr.
  11. The Kennedy campaign the Kennedys don’t want to see. Politico.
  12. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can’t count on family support to take on Biden. CNN.
  13. The Kennedys Really Hate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Maybe they're on to something. Slate.
  14. JFK’s grandson calls RFK Jr an embarrassment to the family name. The Independent.
  15. [Robert F Kennedy Jr announces independent run for 2024 US election by Richard Luscombe and Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian, 2023 October 9
  16. Team Trump readies attacks on RFK Jr. as spoiler anxiety grows. by Shelby Talcott, Semafor, 2023 October 6
  17. A Reclusive Heir Is Giving Millions to Help Trump and RFK Jr.: Tim Mellon has handed out more than $150 million to causes and candidates in recent election cycles by Tarini Parti (March 16, 2024 5:30 am ET) The Wall Street Journal.
  18. Bobby's brain worms story is just more evidence he’s a terrible, terrible person by Jason Sattler (May 11, 2024) I Know How Much You Care.
  19. Robert Kennedy Jr. Admits He Is Guilty In Possessing Heroin (Feb. 18, 1984) AP via The New York Times.
  20. United States, Appellee, v. Rafael Ayala Ayala, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Dennis Hickey Rivera, and Armando Torres Ortíz, Defendants, Appellants, 289 F.3d 16 (1st Cir. 2002) (Heard March 4, 2002; Decided April 29, 2002) Justia.
  21. Freddie Sayers by Freddie Sayers (May 3, 2023) UnHerd.
  22. RFK’s sex diary: His secret journal of affairs by Isabel Vincent & Melissa Klein (Published Sep. 8, 2013; Updated June 20, 2023, 7:33 a.m. ET) New York Post.
  23. RFK Jr. Was a Compulsive Womanizer, and Yes, We Should Care: The presidential candidate might be the political outcast of his family, but he inherited his father’s and uncle’s disregard for women. by Nina Burleigh (August 1, 2023) The New Republic.
  24. How RFK Jr. hiring a bird smuggler threw his environmental group into turmoil by Peter Jamison (March 2, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. EST) The Washington Post.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 "RFK Jr.’s Family Doesn’t Want Him to Run. Even They May Not Know His Darkest Secrets." by Joe Hagan, Vanity Fair, 2024 July 2
  26. Robert Kennedy Jr. Compares Vaccine Debate To Holocaust As California Lawmakers Look At Banning Exemptions. CBS News.
  27. Brntley, Gary, "ROF Responds to the Corporate Media’s Anti-Vaxxer Attack on RFK, Jr.", ROF 12 January 2017.
  28. "About Us", Ring of Fire, The Ring of Fire Network, archived on 2018 April 4
  29. "About Us", Ring of Fire, The Ring of Fire Network, archived on 2018 October 31
  30. Trump appears to abandon vaccine sceptic group denounced by scientists: Robert F Kennedy Jr claimed to be leading a review of links to autism – a widely debunked claim – but now says he hasn’t heard from the White House in months by David Smith (21 Feb 2018 07.15 EST) The Guardian.
  31. Kate Yandell (August 10, 2023). "What RFK Jr. Gets Wrong About Autism". FactCheck.org. The Annenberg Public Policy Center.
  32. Stevenson, C. (May 8, 2019). Robert F Kennedy Jr's family slam his anti-vaccine views in wake of measles outbreak: 'He is spreading dangerous misinformation'. The Independent. Retrieved May 10, 2019.
  33. Kennedy Jr., Robert F. "Was the 2004 Election Stolen?." Rolling Stone, no. 1002, 15 June 2006, pp. 46-114.
  34. Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes On Social Media, Research Shows, Shannon Bond, NPR, 14 May 2021
  35. "Majority of anti-vaccine ads on Facebook were funded by two groups" by Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, 2019 November 15
  36. "Anti-vaccine group sues Facebook, claims fact-checking is “censorship”" by Kate Cox, Ars Technica, 2020 August 18
  37. 37.0 37.1 Tax records reveal the lucrative world of covid misinformation by Lauren Weber (February 21, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. EST) The Washington Post.
  38. Bibelsprüche, Trommeltanz und Faschisten: Zehntausende demonstrieren in Berlin gegen die Corona-Maßnahmen: Impfgegner und Neonazis, Trump-Fans und Hare-Krishna-Tänzer – gegen die Corona-Politik demonstrieren Menschen, die sonst wenig miteinander verbindet. by Hannes Heine (29.08.2020, 19:23 Uhr) Tagesspiegel.
  39. Anti-Vaxxer RFK JR. joins neo-Nazis in massive Berlin 'Anti-Corona' Protest by DowneastDem (August 29, 2020 at 3:06:44p PDT) Daily Kos.
  40. 40.0 40.1 How ‘Free Speech’ Warrior RFK Tried to Bully a DailyKos Blogger: Robert Kennedy Jr. hired Kyle Rittenhouse’s lawyer to threaten a lawsuit against an anonymous writer who documented the anti-vaxxer’s appearance at a far-right German rally. by William Bredderman (Updated Sep. 08, 2023 2:23AM EDT; Published Sep. 07, 2023 8:03PM EDT) Daily Beast.
  41. Brandy Zadrozny (November 3, 2023). "RFK Jr. comes 'home' to his anti-vaccine group, commits to 'a break' for U.S. infectious disease research". NBC News.
  42. David Gorski (November 6, 2023). "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. comes home to his antivax roots…again". Science-Based Medicine.
  43. 43.0 43.1 Nikki McCann Ramirez and Miles Klee (June 27, 2023). "RFK Jr. Claims 'Vaccine Research' Likely Responsible for HIV and the Spanish Flu". Rolling Stone.
  44. Infectious Disease Centers for Disease Control.
  45. (December 9, 2020). "The top 10 causes of death". World Health Organization. Quote: "People living in a low-income country are far more likely to die of a communicable disease than a noncommunicable disease. Despite the global decline, six of the top 10 causes of death in low-income countries are communicable diseases."
  46. RFK Jr. Responds to Barefoot Plane Photo Debate, Doubles Down on Baring Toes (11/14/2023 11:34 AM PT) TMZ.
  47. Plantar warts Mayo Clinic.
  48. 48.0 48.1 Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Conspiracy Theories Finally Get Around to the Jews: COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted”? Uh, sure.. New York.
  49. "Debunked Bill Gates Conspiracy Gets A Boost From RFK Jr., Marla Maples" by Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 2020 August 15
  50. "How Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Became the Anti-vaxxer Icon of America’s Nightmares"
  51. "Debunked Bill Gates Conspiracy Gets A Boost From RFK Jr., Marla Maples" by Carlie Porterfield, Forbes, 2020 August 15
  52. "YouTube bans all anti-vaccine misinformation" by Davey Alba, New York Times, September 29 2021
  53. "RFK Jr. remarks on Anne Frank, vaccines draw condemnation" by Michelle R. Smith, Associated Press, 2022 January 25
  54. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Apologizes for Referencing Anne Frank in Wild Anti-Vax Speech" by Ken Meyer, Mediaite, 2022 January 25
  55. "The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health (Children’s Health Defense)", Amazon listing, archived on 2022 January 3
  56. 56.0 56.1 "The Outsider" by Bob Guccione Jr, Spin, 2022 January 17
  57. "Claims that people were being killed by zidovudine (AZT) instead of AIDS are unsubstantiated", Health Feedback, 2021 September 6
  58. Sarti GM. Aerosolized pentamidine in HIV. Promising new treatment for Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia. Postgrad Med. 1989 Aug;86(2):54-6, 59-60, 63, passim. doi: 10.1080/00325481.1989.11704352. PMID: 2666972.
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  66. "Quarantine in government-nominated accommodation", Queensland Australia government website
  67. "Fauci Rips ‘Very Disturbed’ RFK Jr.’s Attacks on His Career: ‘It’s a Shame’ Because He’s a Kennedy" by Jolie Lash, The Wrap, 2021 December 22
  68. "Watch: RFK Jr. Claims Covid ‘Ethnically Targeted’ — Says Jewish and Chinese People Most Immune" by Daniel Kreps
  69. "Family members join condemnation of Robert Kennedy Jr’s Covid remarks" by Richard Luscombe, Guardian, 2023 July 17
  70. "RFK Jr. denies comments on ‘ethnically targeted’ Covid-19 were anti-Semitic" by Lucy Hodgman, Politico, 2023 July 15
  71. "The @nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews. In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons. I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered. That study is here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32664879/" by @RobertKennedyJr (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), Twitter, 2023 July 15, archived on 2023 July 15
  72. Hou, Y., Zhao, J., Martin, W. et al. New insights into genetic susceptibility of COVID-19: an ACE2 and TMPRSS2 polymorphism analysis. BMC Med 18, 216 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01673-z
  73. David Gorski (July 17, 2023). "RFK Jr.: A fart-filled argument gives way to an antisemitic conspiracy theory that COVID-19 is an 'ethnically targeted' bioweapon". Science-Based Medicine.
  74. Kalyanaraman Marcello, Roopa; Dolle, Johanna; Tariq, Areeba; Kaur, Sharanjit; Wong, Linda; Curcio, Joan; Thachil, Rosy; Yi, Stella S. et al. (March 2022). "Disaggregating Asian Race Reveals COVID-19 Disparities Among Asian American Patients at New York City’s Public Hospital System" (in en). Public Health Reports 137 (2): 317–325. doiWikipedia:10.1177/00333549211061313. ISSN 0033-3549. 
  75. Vignesh Ramachandran (December 17, 2020). "South Asian, Chinese New Yorkers among the hardest hit by Covid, study shows". NBC News.
  76. Liam Stack (April 21, 2020). "'Plague on a Biblical Scale': Hasidic Families Hit Hard by Virus". The New York Times.
  77. Michelle L. Price (April 5, 2023). Anti-vaccine activist RFK Jr. challenging Biden in 2024. The Associated Press.
  78. "Robert F Kennedy Jr to challenge Biden for White House", BBC News, 2023 April 6
  79. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. can’t count on family support to take on Biden" by Edward-Isaac Dovere, CNN, 2023 April 16
  80. His name is Kennedy. His campaign is pure Trump. by Matt Bai (May 15, 2023 at 7:15 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  81. 81.0 81.1 "RFK Jr. Blames Zelensky and U.S. ‘NeoCons‘ for Russian Invasion of Ukraine" by Victor Swezey, Daily Beast, 2023 May 03
  82. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s appeal will also be his ruin" by Zeeshan Aleem, MSNBC, 2023 June 6
  83. Julia Shapero (June 22, 2023). "RFK Jr. says Russia 'acting in good faith' in Ukraine invasion, US in part to blame for war". The Hill.
  84. "Robert Kennedy Jr. to make campaign debut at bitcoin conference" by Alex Seitz-Wald, NBC News, 2023 May 6
  85. "Moms for Liberty", SPLC information page
  86. 86.0 86.1 86.2 "Conservatives Embrace Robert F. Kennedy Jr." by Nick Reynolds, Newsweek, 2023 June 21
  87. "Moms for Liberty's Hamilton County chapter apologizes for quoting Hitler in newsletter", Indianapolis Star, 2023 June 21
  88. "Far-right 'Moms for Liberty' promotes RFK Jr. as guest speaker at national event" by Gideon Rubin, RawStory, 2023 June 20
  89. "RFK Jr. Gives Away the Game With Decision to Speak at Moms for Liberty Summit" by Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani, New Republic, 2023 June 21
  90. Jacob Silverman (June 20, 2023). "What the Powerful Men Boosting Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Really Want". Slate.
  91. "Jack Dorsey is backing Robert F. Kennedy Jr. — an anti-vaxxer who called Anthony Fauci a fascist — for president" by Aditi Bharade, Business insider, 2023 June 5
  92. "Have Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and His Anti-vax Conspiracies Found a Home?" by Caleb Ecarma, Vanity Fair, 2023 June 5
  93. "Robert Kennedy Jr., With Musk, Pushes Right-Wing Ideas and Misinformation" by Reid J. Epstein, Alyce McFadden and Linda Qiu, New York Times, 2023 June 5
  94. "RFK Jr. crashes the techno-politics party" by Derek Robertson, Politico, 2023 June 7
  95. "What is Tulsi Gabbard actually doing on Russia?" by Chris Cillizza, CNN, 2022 March 1
  96. "Michael Shellenberger: How Progressives Ruined American Cities" by Nick Gillespie and Zach Weissmueller, Reason, 2022 January 12
  97. "Biden’s ‘woke’ green energy is a joke that makes us dependent on China" by Michael Shellenberger, New York Post, 2022 October 1
  98. "Author Michael Shellenberger: The left's green agenda is an 'environmental nightmare'" by Fox News staff, 2022 October 4
  99. "Michael Shellenberger, who says progressives ruin cities, has alarming transphobic tweets" by Tim Redmond, 48Hills, 2023 April 3
  100. "RFK Jr. Blames Anti-Depressants for School Shootings" by Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 2023 June 5
  101. 101.0 101.1 RFK Jr. embraces California ballot nomination from party with history of far-right ties: The American Independent Party of California, which backed segregationist and former Alabama governor George Wallace in 1968, nominated Kennedy for president. by Meryl Kornfield (May 2, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. EDT) The Washington Post.
  102. Judd Legum (July 17, 2023). "GOP donors fuel RFK Jr's presidential campaign". Popular Information.
  103. Tori Otten (July 17, 2023). "RFK Jr. Sure Has a Lot of Skeezy GOP Donors for Someone Running as a Democrat". The New Republic.
  104. Jessica Piper (July 15, 2023). "RFK Jr.'s secret fundraising success: Republicans". Politico.
  105. Brian Schwartz (July 14, 2023). "Investor Bill Ackman, David Sacks’ PAC donated to RFK Jr.'s presidential campaign". CNBC.
  106. Caleb Ecarma (July 17, 2023). "RFK Jr.'s Campaign Coffer Is Getting Stuffed to the Brim by GOP Donors: Report". Vanity Fair.
  107. Melissa Holzberg DePalo and David Wright (August 1, 2023). "Takeaways from presidential super PACs’ mid-year financial disclosures". CNN.
  108. Bridget Bowman and Alexandra Marquez (July 31, 2023). "Republican megadonor fuels pro-RFK Jr. super PAC". NBC News.
  109. Super PAC raises $2.1 million after RFK Jr. announced his running mate: Half that came from the super PAC’s co-founder. by Brittany Gibson (03/28/2024 05:52 PM EDT) Politico.
  110. RFK Jr.’s running mate Shanahan shares vaccine skepticism by Nathaniel Weixel (03/29/24 9:42 AM ET) Politico.
  111. 111.0 111.1 Alex Wigglesworth (September 16, 2023). "Armed man impersonated U.S. Marshal at Robert Kennedy Jr. campaign event, police say". The Los Angeles Times. (Yes, the journalist's name is Wigglesworth.)
  112. Nicholas Kerr, Abby Cruz, Amanda M. Morris, and Jon Haworth (September 19, 2023). "Armed man arrested at RFK Jr. campaign event in Los Angeles charged with misdemeanors: LAPD". ABC News.
  113. "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces independent run for president, ending Democratic primary challenge to Biden" by Aaron Pellish, CNN, 2023 October 9
  114. Aaron Rodgers and Jesse Ventura Top R.F.K. Jr.’s List for Running Mate by Rebecca Davis O’Brien, New York Times, March 12, 2024
  115. "RFK Jr. Doesn’t Deny Alleged Sexual Assault of Babysitter: ‘I Am Not a Church Boy’" by Charisma Madarang, Rolling Stone, 2024 July 2
  116. "RFK Jr. says he has 'skeletons in my closet' after sexual assault allegation" by Stephanie Kelly, Reuters, 2024 July 2
  117. "The Children's Health Defense Team: Fluoridation Must End", press release, Fluoride Action Network, archived on Biospace.com, 2019 Jan 10
  118. "YouTube Takes Down RFK Jr. Interview Suggesting Chemicals in Water Supply Might Feminize Children Like They Do Frogs" by Dessi Gomez, The Wrap, 2023 June 19
  119. "Did The New Yorker Botch Puff Piece On Frog Scientist Tyrone Hayes, Turning Rogue into Beleaguered Hero?" by Jon Entine, Forbes, 2014 March 10
  120. 120.0 120.1 120.2 120.3 Robert F. Kennedy Jr. compares Elon Musk to patriots who died fighting in the American Revolution, blames anti-depressants for mass shootings. Business Insider!"
  121. Hall et al. (September 2019). "The myth of school shooters and psychotropic medications". Behavioral Sciences & The Law. Volume 37, Issue 5. DOI: 10.1002/bsl.2429.
  122. Rossin-Slater et al. (September 2020). "Local exposure to school shootings and youth antidepressant use". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2000804117.
  123. 123.0 123.1 Was the 2004 election stolen? No.. Salon.
  124. 124.0 124.1 Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Nut Job. Cleveland Magazine.
  125. 125.0 125.1 Robert Kennedy Jr. sees ‘overwhelming evidence’ CIA involved in JFK assassination. The Hill.
  126. RFK Jr. tells Joe Rogan he takes ‘precautions’ to avoid CIA assassination. New York Daily News.
  127. 127.0 127.1 R.F.K. Jr. Says Doctors Found a Dead Worm in His Brain: The presidential candidate has faced previously undisclosed health issues, including a parasite that he said ate part of his brain. by Susanne Craig (May 8, 2024; Updated 5:15 p.m. ET) The New York Times.
  128. President Biden in a debate. by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (1:54 PM · May 8, 2024) Twitter (archived from 09 May 2024 20:32:52 GMT).
  129. Lauren Cox (January 8, 2009). "Kennedy's Voice Draws Attention to Rare Disorder". ABC News.
  130. Yasmine Leung. "What happened to Robert Kennedy Jr’s voice and when did it change?". HITC.