Presidential candidate Robert F Kennedy Jr baselessly claimed in a congressional hearing on Thursday that he has never been anti-vaccine.
Mr Kennedy testified before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government where House Republicans had invited him to testify about allegedly being censored by the Biden administration and tech companies.
Mr Kennedy, currently a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president against the incumbent Joe Biden, denied that he opposed vaccines.
Prior to his testimony, Rep Stacey Plaskett, the top Democrat on the committee, had highlighted how his documentary Medical Racism: The New Apartheid, had said that Covid-19 vaccines do not work on Black children.
But Mr Kennedy vehemently denied such claims.
“At one point you say I'm anti-vax, and that's a bad thing,” he said. “The other thing any other moment you point out that all my children are vaxxed.”
Mr Kennedy also pointed out that he had taken every vaccine except the Covid-19 vaccine and had taken flu shots for years, but has said he thinks a vaccine caused his spasmodic dysphonia, which causes the voice to spasm. There is no evidence that vaccines cause spasmodic dysphonia.
A longtime environmental lawyer, Mr Kennedy has long talked about the link between vaccines and autism. Mr Kennedy first spoke about the link in 2005, when he wrote an article for Rolling Stone and Salon entitled “Deadly Immunity.” Salon later pulled the article from its website.
But Mr Kennedy claimed that he is not an anti-vaxer and said his views are “constantly misrepresented.”
“I have never told anybody, I have never told the public avoid vaccination,” he said. “I want to have a conversation with him about that with the American people, which I believe vaccines should be tested with the same rigor as other medicines medications.”
Early in the hearing, Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH), the chairman of the subcommittee, claimed that the Biden administration had censored Mr Kennedy when he had tweeted that baseball legend Henry Aaron died shortly after he had received the Covid-19 vaccine in an effort to get Black Americans vaccinated against the virus.
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