Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. files to run for president in 2024

Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an anti-vaccine activist and scion of one of many nation’s most well-known political households, is operating for president.

Kennedy filed an announcement of candidacy Wednesday with the Federal Election Fee.

The 69-year-old’s marketing campaign to problem incumbent President Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination is a protracted shot. Self-help writer Marianne Williamson can be operating within the Democratic race.

Kennedy, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and the son of his slain brother Robert F. Kennedy, was as soon as a bestselling writer and environmental lawyer who labored on points reminiscent of clear water.

However greater than 15 years in the past, he turned fixated on a perception that vaccines will not be protected. He emerged as one of many main voices in the anti-vaccine motion, and his work has been described by public well being consultants and even members of his family as deceptive and harmful.

Kennedy had been lengthy concerned within the anti-vaccine motion, however the effort intensified after the COVID-19 pandemic and improvement of the COVID-19 vaccine.

His anti-vaccine charity, Youngsters’s Well being Protection, prospered through the pandemic, with revenues greater than doubling in 2020 to $6.8 million, in response to filings made with charity regulators.

His group has focused false claims at teams that could be extra vulnerable to mistrust the vaccine, together with moms and Black People, consultants have mentioned, which might have resulted in deaths through the pandemic.

Kennedy launched a e-book in 2021, “The Actual Anthony Fauci,” during which he accused the U.S.’s high infectious illness physician of aiding in “a historic coup d’etat towards Western democracy” and promoted unproven COVID-19 therapies reminiscent of ivermectin, which is supposed to deal with parasites, and the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine.

His push towards the COVID-19 vaccine has linked him at instances with anti-democratic figures and teams. Kennedy has appeared at occasions pushing the lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and with individuals who cheered or downplayed the revolt on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

A photograph posted on Instagram confirmed Kennedy backstage at a July 2021 Reawaken America occasion with former President Donald Trump’s ally Roger Stone, former Nationwide Safety Adviser Michael Flynn and anti-vaccine profiteer Charlene Bollinger. All three have promoted the lie in regards to the 2020 election being stolen.

The photograph was posted however later eliminated by Bollinger, who has appeared with Kennedy at a number of occasions. She and her husband sponsored an anti-vaccine, pro-Trump rally close to the Capitol on Jan. 6. Bollinger celebrated the assault and her husband tried to enter the Capitol. Kennedy later appeared in a video for his or her Tremendous PAC.

Kennedy has repeatedly invoked Nazis and the Holocaust when speaking about measures aimed toward mitigating the unfold of COVID-19, reminiscent of masks necessities and vaccine mandates. He has typically apologized for these feedback, together with when he advised that individuals in 2022 had it worse than Anne Frank, {the teenager} who died in a Nazi focus camp after hiding together with her household in a secret annex in an Amsterdam home for 2 years.

Kennedy has at instances invoked his household’s legacy in his anti-vaccine work, together with typically utilizing photos of President Kennedy.

His sister Kerry Kennedy, who runs Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the worldwide rights group based by their mom, Ethel, mentioned her brother has at instances eliminated a number of the content material at her request.

She instructed the Related Press in a 2021 interview her brother is “utterly incorrect on this concern and really harmful.”