Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr.
Robert Francis Kennedy, Jr.. (born 17 January 1954), often referred to as RFK Jr. or Bobby Jr., is the third of eleven children born to Ethel Skakel Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy. He is an environmental lawyer known for promoting anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and co-hosts Ring of Fire on the Air America Radio network.
- Generations of Americans will pay the Republican campaign debt to the energy industry with global instability, depleted national coffers and increased vulnerability to price shocks in the oil market. They will also pay with reduced prosperity and quality of life at home. Pollution from power plants and traffic smog will continue to skyrocket. Carbon-dioxide emissions will aggravate global warming. Acid rain from Midwestern coal plants has already sterilized half the lakes in the Adirondacks and destroyed the forest cover in the high peaks of the Appalachian range up into Canada. The administration's attacks on science and the law have put something even greater at risk. Americans need to recognize that we are facing not just a threat to our environment but to our values, and to our democracy.
- In "Crimes against nature" in Rolling Stone magazine (December 11, 2003).
- Today, more than ever, it is critical for American citizens to understand the difference between the free-market capitalism that made our country great and the corporate cronyism that is now corrupting our political process, strangling democracy and devouring our national treasures.
- In "Crimes against nature" in Rolling Stone magazine (December 11, 2003).
- I had my own mercury levels tested recently, Bill, and my levels are about three times what are considered safe, just from eating fish. I was told by Dr. David Carpenter, who is the national authority on mercury contamination, that a woman with my levels of mercury would have children with cognitive impairment, with permanent brain damage, probably an IQ loss of 5 to 7 points... Under Clinton rules, they would have had to remove 90% of that mercury within three-and-a-half years. But this president, eight weeks ago, announced he was scrapping those rules and substituting rules that were written by industry lobbyists that will require that they never have to clean up. This is an issue that affects hundreds of thousands of people and directly impacts the health of millions and millions of Americans. But you don't see it in the newspaper. It should be the headlines every single day. But we don't know about it.
- The news departments have become corporate profit centers. And their only obligation now is to their shareholders. Which is to create large audiences and viewership so they can sell more ad space. So they're airing stories that appeal to the prurient interests that all of us have in the reptilian core of our brain: for sex and celebrity gossip. And now, for terror. So they give us Kobe Bryant and they give us Michael Jackson. And they give us Laci Peterson and they give us lots and lots of terror alerts. But they're not telling us the really critical stories that impact our way of life.
- Real Time with Bill Maher (October 22, 2004).
- 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.
- Speaking in Sacramento (April 7, 2015), cited in "Robert Kennedy Jr. Compares Vaccine Debate To Holocaust As California Lawmakers Look At Banning Exemptions" CBS News Bay Area (April 8, 2015)
- Two Californian senators at the state's Capitol had introduced a bill known as SB277 (which became law at the end of June 2015) blocking parents from stopping the vaccination of their children. Kennedy later apologized for the comments were made at a screening of the film Trace Amounts
- Thimerosal is a controversial mercury based (sic) vaccine preservative that research scientists and vaccine safety advocates have connected to the epidemic of brain disorders in children.
- "Why Does Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Get Brain Science So Wrong?" by Emily Willingham, forbes.com (July 21, 2015).
- My father believed moral courage to be the rarest species of bravery. Rarer even than the physical courage of soldiers in battle or great intelligence. He thought it the one vital quality required to salvage the world.
- Dr. Mikovits joined NIH in 1980 as a Postdoctoral Scholar in Molecular Virology at the National Cancer Institute and began a 20-year collaboration with Frank Ruscetti, a pioneer in the field of human retro virology. She helped Dr Russetti isolate the HIV virus and link it to #AIDS in 1983. Her NIH boss Anthony Fauci delayed publication of that critical paper for 6 months to let his protégé Robert Gallo replicate, publish and claim credit. The delay in mass HIV testing let AIDS further spread around the globe and helped Fauci win promotion to director NIAID... Appropriating her (Judy Mikovits') work wasn’t the worst of it. This delayed the development of testing and spread the HIV epidemic through the world, killing millions. Driven by greed and cronyism, Anthony Fauci—”America’s Doctor”—is directly responsible for the further spread of HIV throughout the world. Rather than being punished for his actions, six months later he was appointed Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases–a position he still holds today.
- The Truth About Fauci—Featuring Dr. Judy Mikovits,Children's Health Defense (April 20, 2020)
- Note: In 2007, Mikovits met a co-discoverer of xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV), Robert Silverman, at a conference. Silverman had found XMRV sequences, which are highly similar to mouse genomic sequences, in prostate cancer specimens several years earlier. Using tools obtained from Silverman, Mikovits began to look for XMRV in her CFS samples. In late 2008, a graduate student, who subsequently was hired as her technician, obtained two positive results from a group of twenty samples. He and Mikovits successively altered the experimental conditions until all samples gave a positive signal. In 2009, Mikovits and co-workers reported in the journal Science that they had detected XMRV DNA in CFS patients and control subjects. Negative results were published soon after, disputing Mikovits's findings. Two of the original authors of this paper subsequently reanalyzed the samples used in the research and found that the samples were contaminated with XMRV plasmid DNA, leading them to publish a partial retraction of their original results. In December 2011, after a request by first author Robert Silverman, the editors of Science retracted the paper in its entirety. On September 29, 2011, Mikovits was terminated by the WPI due to disputes over the control of lab samples and the integrity of her work; she subsequently came under investigation for alleged manipulation of data in her publications related to XMRV. (See Judy Mikovits#XMRV and myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue)
- In 2006, Dr Mikovits became director of Whittemore Peterson Institute for Neuro-Immune Disease and collaborated with Dr Ruscetti searching for the cause of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which suddenly became epidemic in the 1980s.... Dr. Mikovits discovered that 67% of affected women carried a virus—called Xenotropic Murine Leukemia related Virus—that appeared in healthy women only 4% of the time. XMRV is also associated with prostate, breast, ovarian cancers, leukemia, and multiple myeloma. Many women with XMRV bore children with autism. In 2009, Drs. Mikovits and Ruscetti published their explosive findings in the journal Science. But the question remained: how was XMRV getting into people? Other researchers linked the first CFS outbreak to a polio vaccine given to doctors and nurses that resulted in the “1934 Los Angeles County Hospital Epidemic.” That vaccine was cultivated on pulverized mouse brains. Retroviruses from dead animals can survive in cell lines and permanently contaminate vaccines.
Dr Mikovits’ studies suggested that the XMRV Virus was present in the MMR, Polio and Encephalitis vaccines given to American children and soldiers. XMRV is so hazardous that the mere presence of mouse tissue in a laboratory can contaminate other tissues in the same room. Dr Fauci ordered Mikovits to keep her mouth shut. When she refused, he illegally confiscated her work books and hard drives, drove her from government work and blackballed her from receiving NIH grants ending her science career. XMRV remains in American vaccines.
- Even in Hitler’s Germany you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.
- At an anti-vaxxer rally (January 23, 2022), cited in "Robert Kennedy Jr apologizes for Holocaust remarks at anti-vaxxer rally" Reuters (January 25, 2022). On January 25., he said: "I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry."
- The collapse of U.S. influence over Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom’s new alliances with China and Iran are painful emblems of the abject failure of the Neocon strategy of maintaining U.S. global hegemony with aggressive projections of military power. China has displaced the American Empire by deftly projecting, instead, economic power. Over the past decade, our country has spent trillions bombing roads, ports, bridges, and airports. China spent the equivalent building the same across the developing world. The Ukraine war is the final collapse of the Neocon's short-lived “American Century.” The Neocon projects in Iraq and Ukraine have cost $8.1 trillion, hollowed out our middle class, made a laughingstock of U.S. military power and moral authority, pushed China and Russia into an invincible alliance, destroyed the dollar as the global currency, cost millions of lives and done nothing to advance democracy or win friendships or influence.
- From his post on Facebook (April 4, 2023)
- There's a cushy socialism for the rich and this kind of brutal, merciless capitalism for the poor.
- The Russians have repeatedly offered to settle. If you look at the Minsk accords, which the Russians offered to settle for, they look like a really good deal today. Let's be honest: it’s a US war against Russia, to essentially sacrifice the flower of Ukrainian youth in an abattoir of death and destruction for the geopolitical ambition of the neocons, oft-stated, of regime change for Vladimir Putin and exhausting the Russian military so that they can't fight anywhere else in the world. President Biden has said that was his intention — to get rid of Vladimir Putin. His Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, in April 2022, said that our purpose here is to exhaust the Russian army. What does that mean, "exhaust"? It means throwing Ukrainians at them. My son fought over there, side-by-side with the Ukrainians and we've sacrificed 300,000 of them. The commander of the special forces unit in the Ukraine, which is probably the most elite fighting force in Europe, has said 80% of his troops are dead or are wounded and they cannot rebuild the unit. Right now, the Russians are killing Ukrainians at a ratio of either 1:5 or 1:8, depending on what data you believe.
- What happened in the Ukraine is that the US supported essentially a coup d’etat in 2014, against the democratically-elected government of Ukraine. We have telephone call transcripts of Victoria Nuland, one of the neocons in the White House, handpicking the new cabinet that was hostile to the Soviet Union. If you look at that, and you put yourself in Russia’s position, and you say: "Okay, the United States, our biggest enemy, is treating us as an enemy, has now taken over the government of a nation and made them hostile to us, and then started passing laws that are prejudicial to this giant Russian population." If Mexico did that and then started killing — they killed 14,000 Russians in Donbas, the Ukrainian government — if Mexico did that to expatriate Americans, we'd invade in a second. We have to put ourselves in the shoes of our opponents.
- [On climate science] I can’t independently verify that.
- [The climate crisis is being used to create] totalitarian controls on society [...] by the World Economic Forum, Bill Gates, and all of these megabillionaires.
- In my campaign I’m not going to be talking a lot about climate. Why is that? Because climate has become a crisis like Covid that the Davos groups and other totalitarian elements in our society have used as a pretext for clamping down totalitarian controls.
- On mass shootings prior to the introduction of Prozac, we had almost none of these events in our country and we've never seen them in human history, where people walk into a schoolroom of children or strangers and start shooting people.
- Online Twitter conversation with Elon Musk (June 5, 2023), as cited in "Robert Kennedy Jr., With Musk, Pushes Right-Wing Ideas and Misinformation", The New York Times (June 5, 2023)
- [On the suggestion "You know what, Alex Jones, with all due respect, I don't want your support" is "a principled insistence" Jones represents a "a bridge too far"] If you're just saying you're going to dismiss certain people because this human being is so irredeemable that I am going to exclude him or her from any future activity on the planet—I just don’t think that's consistent with my spiritual beliefs. It's not consistent with my political philosophy. I believe that we should invite our enemies into the tent with us to the extent that they want to break bread with us, that they may want to endorse some of the values that we hold dear.
- [On the Assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963] I can guarantee you, looking at this case, that I could prove that my uncle's death was caused by the C.I.A. I have enough evidence right now, without any depositions, to go to prove that my uncle's death was the result of a conspiracy. And that the C.I.A. was involved—not only in the original conspiracy but in the sixty-year coverup—and continues to maintain the coverup.
- There is an argument that [COVID-19] is ethnically targeted. 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.
- Comments in a video recorded at a New York City fundraiser a few days earlier, "Presidential Candidate RFK Jr. Says Jews Intentionally Spared From 'Ethnically Targeted' COVID-19" Haaretz (15 July 2023)
- In a tweet in response, Kennedy said: "I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews." First reported by The New York Post. Kennedy's claims were dismissed by scientists and The New York Times reported the paper he had cited did not mention "Ashkenazi Jews".
- [Donald Trump is] probably the most successful debater in this country since Lincoln-Douglas.
- [Trump] has his own technique that people like, and it is like going to a prize fight and you need practice. And that usually happens during a primary, and asking [Biden] not to debate during the primary is like asking a prize fighter to practice for his big bout by sitting on the couch and eating Chick-fil-A
- In a Fox News interview, as cited in "RFK Jr. says Trump ‘probably the most successful debater’ since Lincoln" The Hill (14 July 202)
- The Lincoln–Douglas debates in 1858 were between the future president Abraham Lincoln and Senator Stephen Douglas for a senate seat representing Illinois.
- I don't know what happened on 9/11. I mean, I understand what the official explanation [for 9/11] is, I understand that there is dissent. I have not looked into it. I haven't examined it. I'm not a good person to talk to about it.
- Well, I know … there’s strange things that happened, that don't seem … One of the buildings [in New York] came down that wasn't hit by a plane, so, you know, was it building seven or building 10?
- [Bergen said the twin towers collapsed on top (of WTC7)] No, they didn't collapse on top of it. My offices were down there [at the bottom of Manhattan]. My offices were closed and you know … there's pictures of it collapsing. There's nothing collapsing on top of it.
I mean, listen, I don't want to argue any theories about this because all I've heard is questions. I have no explanation. I have no knowledge of it. But ... what you’re repeating now, I know not to be true.
- It's not something that I, you know, any part of [it] I endorse one way or the other, but I do think that it ought to be permissible in this country to question official narratives.
- In the Room podcast hosted by Peter Bergen, as cited in "Robert F Kennedy Jr expresses skepticism at official 9/11 account", The Guardian (26 September 2023)
- Bergen said after the interview: "To clarify … the government’s official report found that building seven was hit with debris from the north tower [of the World Trade Center]. That impact caused fires, which led to the building collapse. It's very well documented and there's nothing 'strange' about it.”
- I'm here to declare myself an independent candidate for president of the United States.
- From a speech in Philadelphia, as cited in "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces independent run for president, ending Democratic primary challenge to Biden", CNN (9 October 2023)
Quotes about Kennedy
From the Kennedy family
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.—Joe and Kathleen's brother and Maeve’s uncle—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.
- We stand behind him in his ongoing fight to protect our environment. However, on vaccines he is wrong. And his and others' work against vaccines is having heartbreaking consequences. The challenge for public health officials right now is that many people are more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases, because they've been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact. But that’s not luck; it's the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years.
- Those who delay or refuse vaccinations, or encourage others to do so, put themselves and others, especially children, at risk. It is in all our interests to make sure that immunizations reach every child on the globe through safe, effective and affordable vaccines. Everyone must communicate the benefits and safety of vaccines, and advocate for the respect and confidence of the institutions which make them possible. To do otherwise risks even further erosion of one of public health’s greatest achievements.
- Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment. Today's announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.
- Statement from Rory Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, Joseph P Kennedy II and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, as cited in "Robert F. Kennedy Jr. announces independent run for president, ending Democratic primary challenge to Biden", CNN (9 October 2023) on the day
- Running in the 2024 presidential election.
Other individuals and sources
- [T]he respite from anti-Semitism 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.
- The issue with Kennedy is that he long ago entered his own curated world of pseudo-science, 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.
- Jonathan Chait "Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Conspiracy Theories Finally Get Around to the Jews" New York magazine (July 15, 202)
- Published following Kennedy's claim COVID-19 was "ethnically targeted" (cited above).
- Robert F Kennedy Jr is the perfect Kennedy for the post-Trump era, because in many ways, the Kennedy family represents America: like them, the country looks great, is rich and generally has high ideals. But so much of the reputation of both has rested on a willingness to overlook their flaws and victims.
- He is not an aberration but a culmination, one who shows the worst of his family and country, with both looking played out, wacky and — despite or because of its privileges — disproportionately prone to the worst of human behaviour.
- Facebook and Instagram on Thursday removed the accounts of Children’s Health Defense, an organization led by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that is one of the largest U.S. anti-vaccine groups, for spreading medical misinformation.
- In a statement, Mr. Kennedy said, "Facebook is acting here as a surrogate for the Federal government’s crusade to silence all criticism of draconian government policies."
Children’s Health Defense is widely regarded as a symbol of the vaccine resistance movement. Last year, the organization was named one of the "Disinformation Dozen," which refers to the top 12 superspreaders of misinformation about Covid-19 on the internet, according to the Center for Countering Digital Hate.
- Sheera Frenkel "Facebook and Instagram Remove Robert Kennedy Jr.’s Nonprofit for Misinformation" The New York Times (August 18, 2022)
- Kennedy Jr. lacks Trump's political abilities, but he presents to his admirers the same proposition: I suffer on your behalf. For the faithful, every correction of their champion’s falsehoods, every criticism of the harm he is inflicting on others, is a further proof of his heroic self-sacrifice. Kennedy, who has enjoyed privileged access to the political and media elites since his childhood, paints himself as a victim of censorship by—who else?—the elites.
- Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer who is the nephew of the former President John F. Kennedy, has become perhaps the most prominent voice of the anti-vaccine movement in the U.S. He has championed Judy Mikovits, a former researcher at the National Cancer Institute, who made a number of discredited assertions in a documentary called Plandemic. It was released on May 4, 2020, and raced across the internet with its sensational claims—among them, that Anthony Fauci and other researchers were responsible for the death of millions of AIDS victims who were given the wrong therapy, while the scientists reaped fabulous profits from the patents on the faulty medicines. (According to the British Medical Journal, Dr. Fauci’s colleague at NIAID, Dr. Clifford Lane, said he received about $45,000 from the patents; Fauci donated his entire portion to charity.) Mikovits asserts that SARS-CoV-2 was created in laboratories at the University of North Carolina, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Maryland, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, without offering proof or saying why they would do this. Boosted by QAnon and anti-vaccine advocates, Plandemic was liked, shared, or commented on nearly 2.5 million times on Facebook before it was taken down. The contest between science and conspiracy would constantly undermine efforts to coordinate a national response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Lawrence Wright, The Plague Year: America in the Time of COVID (2021)