Vaccines

Robert Kennedy Jr. Raves On About the Vaccination "Holocaust"

Not a shred of scientific evidence supports his ranting

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Robert Kennedy Jr.
wikimedia

California is in the midst of a controversy over whether or not "personal belief" exemptions for vaccinations should be eliminated. Now steps in Robert Kennedy Jr. to lend his voice to the anti-vaxxers. According to the local CBS station:

Kennedy spoke to a crowd Tuesday screening a film that claims a link between autism in children and thimerosal, an ingredient in vaccines, according to the Sacramento Bee.

"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," Kennedy reportedly told the crowd. "This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country."

Kennedy blames the preservative thimerosal in vaccines for causing autism. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. In any case, thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines. As I noted in an earlier post debunking Kennedy's fulminations:

Bemusingly, thimerosal was removed as a precautionary measure from all childhood vaccines in the United States except those for influenza in 2001. During that time the reported autism rate in the U.S. has soared. The CDC did not report autism spectrum disorder diagnoses until 2004 at which time it reported a rate in the range of 1 in 500 to 1 in 166 children. By 2014, the CDC reported a diagnosis rate of 1 in 68 children.

What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?

Kennedy is not only against vaccination-affirmers, he also has some interesting views about what to do with climate change-deniers.

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  1. What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?

    THAT WE NEED TO BURN *MORE* WITCHES!

    1. The party of science. Or, in this case, the party of plaintiffs’ attorneys.

      1. No where near enough attention gets put on the left wing anti-science movements.

        -There is zero evidence that GMO’s are dangerous.
        -There is zero evidence organic food is healthier.
        -Organic farming is worse for the environment.
        -Anti-vaccine movement (which is, oddly enough, rarely described as left-wing)

        Some far right wing Christian may not believe in evolution, but is mostly harmless. Left wing policies would lead to food shortages/starvation and are currently putting children at risk.

        1. Some far right wing Christian may not believe in evolution, but is mostly harmless. Left wing policies would lead to food shortages/starvation and are currently putting children at risk.

          Absolutely correct. To be fair, though, not a small amount of Lefties hide the fact that they think a significant portion of the world’s population should die off.

        2. The anti-vaccine movement contains lots of conservaderps. It defies left-right categorization.

          1. This^

            I have a cousin who refused to vaccinate his two kids and who as also a Ron Paul supporter.

            1. Its origin and predominance is on the Left. There are a fair number of creationists on the Left too.

              1. +1 Gaia Earth Mother

              2. I think it’s more that the leftwing anti-vaxxers are able to get more coverage. There are plenty of Alex Jones types out there that refuse to vaccinate, but they don’t get as much coverage as a former playmate or the scion of a political dynasty. When you actually look at the polls, the anti-vaxxers split pretty evenly between the left and right.

                1. http://www.realclearscience.co…..08905.html

                  Susan…

                  1. And an awful lot of democrats are evolutionists too (although obviously and unsurprisingly fewer than republicans):

                    http://www.gallup.com/poll/108…..onism.aspx

                  2. It’s a bit more complicated than that. Deep south states like MS make it almost impossible to attend public schools without vaccinations. While they do allow religious exemptions they’re damn near impossible to get. Liberal states allow parental conscience exemptions, which makes it a lot easier for parents to opt out because they feel like it. So that map doesn’t really show the populations’ anti-vaxx sentiments, just how strict the vaccine laws are.

                    Note that some liberal state lawmakers are trying to amend their vaccination requirements, but are stuck dealing with a vocal minority objecting to such amendments.

        3. Don’t forget nuclear, sorry, nukuler power.

          1. My list was not meant to be all inclusive, but a start.

            Nuclear energy is a good one. Or the anti-smoking campaign/taxes versus their love of marijuana (which is good becomes it comes from the Earth/a plant – if it’s natural, how can it be bad for you…).

            The modern left has a number of elements that are basically neo-luddites who will on one hand bash consumerism while in the other their holding they play on their i-phone.

            Its origin and predominance is on the Left.

            That shit, as far as I can tell, started with the left. How it’s spread is really redundant. The link above provided the evidence that, yea, it’s more predominant on the left.

  2. Now steps in Robert Kennedy Jr. to lend his voice to the anti-vaxxers.

    His is the voice they deserve.

    1. I like this!

    2. He no longer requires the weirding module.

  3. “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,” Kennedy reportedly told the crowd.

    I think it’s undeniable that RFK had Junior vaccinated.

  4. What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?

    Consensus?

    Seriously, if anyone is going to research the effect of thimerosal on autism, it should be to see whether it prevents it. I mean, based on the data, that’s the correlation, so maybe there’s actually causation?

  5. Is there any good literature explaining the incredible jump in reported autism in this short time period?

    1. They expanded the definition of autism. There, that was easy.

      1. Actually, I think they reduced the definition. Asbergers was taken off the spectrum.

        More likely, they’re just learning how to diagnose it. Or over diagnose it…

        1. I’m dubious about that. It seems to me (this is based on my anecdotal experience, so take it for what it’s worth) that we have a cottage industry now in finding problems with kids–autism, ADHD, gluten intolerance, whatever–that gives parents cover for why little Johnny isn’t perfect and gives providers lots and lots and lots of money. Win-win-win!

        2. They may have reduced it in one way (no more Apies), but increased it in others (likely by tweaking the differential factors for a diagnosis).

          Couldn’t say, really. It would be interesting to know, though.

          It may be little more than the social stigma of having an autistic kid has receded.

        3. I believe Asperger was folded into Austism Spectrum Disorder instead of being a distinct diagnosis.

          A few years ago I read an article about an auditory cognition specialist who was finding that very common auditory disorders were rarely diagnosed now and found out a bunch of them were also considered indications for Autism Spectrum. He went back and found that some of the kids (now adults) he’d worked with probably would’ve been a good fit for contemporary diagnosis of autism.

      2. That accounts for a portion of it, but definitely not all or even the majority.

    2. Plenty of speculation that there’s a nutritional and/or gut health cause. Also a fair number of folks anecdotally successfully treating the condition with changes in diet, typically removing grains. If Vegas had odds, it’d be where my money is.

      1. I knew it! GLUTEN!!!!

      2. Neurological inflammation from several compounding factors combined with a genetic susceptibility. Acetaminophen overuse is a strong suspect as well.

      3. I think it’s tied to “hot snakes”

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwPoQs_0FgU

        The best blooper reel I’ve ever seen. Only 2 minutes of hilarity.

    3. Most attribute it to broader diagnostic criteria — i.e. there’s a lot more kids we would describe as having autism these days with the same symptoms that would not have been considered autism in 2004. Also, there is a lot more awareness of autism and people are getting referrals and evaluations for it far more than they did a decade ago.

      Whether or not all of that is appropriate or a good thing is another debate. But overall, it’s doubtful that anything has happened to actually cause a change in the true incidence of autism, we’re just ‘diagnosing’ it more.

      1. Yep, today we diagnose a kid with autism that, in the past, we would have elected to represent Massachusetts in the Senate.

    4. No, but a really interesting breakthrough was made in the biochemical mechanics. It appears all autism-all the different variants-boil down to a lack of autophagy in the brain caused by abnormally high mTOR activity. The child/adolescent brain destroys connections as it matures through autophagy. Autists don’t do this as much.

      1. Interesting. A lack of synaptic pruning in whatever parts of the brain that are responsible for language acquisition would perhaps be a factor in the apparent ease Daniel Tammet has demonstrated in learning new languages.

        1. It is doubly interesting because it makes it FAR easier to possibly treat autism. There are a ton of genetic mutations associated with autism, and if each one potentiated autism by a unique mechanism, that’s a nightmare to treat. Each one is different. But now they all have a common thread, and we can target that.

  6. Has anyone studied the links between learning disabilities and generations of inbreeding?

    1. You’d have to control for Irish whisky.

      1. And multiple strains of syphilis.

  7. Actually there is a STRONG correlation between Organic Food and Autism. (Doesn’t mean they have anything to do with each other, but the correlation is very strong).

    Maybe he will try and ban organic food since science doesn’t matter.

    http://io9.com/on-correlation-…..1494972271

    1. methinks the ppl likely to force their kids to eat farmer joes holistic health butter are more likely to drag their kids to a shrink when they act up.

    2. I send that chart every few months to my dad who loves organic food and hates vaccinations.

      1. And I’ll bet you get coal each and every Christmas…

        1. That would require me to get things for Christmas.

  8. the explosion in childhood autism is caused by the same thing behind the explosion of childhood ADD – quack psychiatrists teaming up with careless teachers to pathologize normal child behavior, preying on the fears of parents.

    1. preying on the fears of parents

      Fears or just the fact that “autism” sounds better than “your kid is a socially incompetent asshole”?

    2. Not all ADHD is that. I think a study found that the brains of 5% of ADHD children were physically different.

      1. So, only a 2,000% overdiagnosis rate.

      2. were the brains different before the vivisection ?

    3. A lot of it is also a change in perceptions. Back in the 70’s and 80’s, short of being obviously crazy like Schizophrenia or Rain Man levels of Autistic, most people would psychiatrists like the plague because of the possible social stigma involved. So people who would be diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorders or ADD these days would just be considered weird kids back in the day.

  9. So it is OK to not get vaccinations for personal or religious beliefs, but it is wrong to use a belief to refuse to make a cake for someone?

    1. Yes! Because not vaccinatiing affects *everybody*!

      1. I believe that my mother’s failure to have me vaccinated when I was 2 years old in 1968 has caused at least a thousand deaths.

        1. Umm – just what have you been doing?

  10. “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,” Kennedy reportedly told the crowd.

    “But, enough about my partying days.”

    1. Bingo!

  11. People like Kennedy and McCarthy really damage the effort to truly understand autism and its causes. I wish he would just go back to drinking and drown in a pool somewhere.

  12. On thimerosal, it was removed from children’s vaccines over a decade ago and replaced with aluminum as an adjuvant to increase the immune response to the dead virus. Problem for some people is that they cannot excrete the metals (methyl folate pathway breakdown) and each injection increases their total metal load, leading to further health issues.

    1. increases their total metal load

      Behold the aluminum spooge!

      1. Zinc will get you better results.

    2. leading to further health issues.

      A worthwhile sacrifice to the…herd, no doubt.

  13. “The Sunday-newspaper supplement Parade magazine lards on the Kennedy love today. The cover shows two of Teddy’s sons, Teddy Jr. and Patrick with the words “The Kennedy Legacy: The next generation carries on the family’s exuberant mission of public service.”” – See more at: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/t…..0cPSG.dpuf

    Fortunately, I hadn’t had breakfast before I wondered onto this on Sunday; all I got was the dry heaves.

  14. What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?

    From Kennedy’s warp perspective it’s autism. At the very least he is consistent with his understanding of cause and effect.

    After all, what do you call it when the effect is removed, yet the alleged cause gets worse?

    Climate Change!

  15. What do you call it when the alleged cause is removed, yet the effect gets worse?

    “Pathological science”

    ” where there is no dishonesty involved but where people are tricked into false results by a lack of understanding about what human beings can do to themselves in the way of being led astray by subjective effects, wishful thinking or threshold interactions. These are examples of pathological science.” Lagmuir, 1953

    1. although, I tend to questions to the “no dishonesty” part when it comes to many of the issues that have become politicized.

  16. I love it when I read “The science is settled”
    Cracks me up every time

  17. This issue has gone so far the other way now it’s become another witch hunt. I think the anti-vaccers are crackpots, but fuck just let them be crackpots.

    1. If somebody believes reptilians are going around probing people, then that doesn’t really affect anybody but them. If someone refuses to vaccinate their kids, then they’re potentially exposing people around them to whatever germs their kid picks up.

      There are people out there who are incapable of being vaccinated for legitimate medical reasons, and it would suck to have some kid survive chemo treatment for Leukemia, only to have them die to an easily preventable disease like the measles.

  18. At the time I finished my pediatric residency (early 90s) autism was very strictly defined, and relatively rare. Nowadays I see kids who are totally interactive, engaging me in conversation, making eye contact, etc, and their parents explain to me that their child has ‘Autism’. It’s not an epidemic, it’s mission creep.

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