Trump Selects Anti-Vaccination Kook Robert Kennedy Jr. to Head Vaccination Safety Commission—Update: Not So Fast?

Kennedy once compared vaccination to the Holocaust*


Anthony Behar/SIPA/Newscom

Sadly, the selection of Robert Kennedy Jr. by Donald Trump to head some kind of vaccination commission should not be a suprise. After all, Trump evidently met with prominent anti-vax leaders back in August; one whom described Trump as being "extremely educated on our issues." (In contrast, I have explained that Trump is an "idiotarian" with regard to vaccine safety science.) Kennedy is similarly "educated." During a promotional tour for the anti-vaccination "documentary" Trace Amounts in 2015, Robert Kennedy Jr. once declared, ""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 said. "This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country." We can all look forward to the scientific conclusions reached by fellow Kennedy commission panelists Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey.

After his meeting with Trump today, Kennedy reportedly said, "President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it. Kennedy added, "He says his opinion doesn't matter … but the science does matter, and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science." Yes, the science does matter, and perhaps once Kennedy is exposed to it, he might change his mind about the enormous benefits of vaccination versus the minor risks.

Vaccination has been critical in preventing the all-too-natural holocaust of death by contagious diseases that has afflicted humanity throughout the ages. For example, infectious diseases were the leading cause of death in the United States up until 1920. A 2007 Journal of the American Medical Association review article reported that "a greater than 92% decline in cases and a 99% or greater decline in deaths due to diseases prevented by vaccines recommended before 1980 were shown for diphtheria, mumps, pertussis, and tetanus." New vaccines developed and deployed after 1980 continued this trend toward lower disease and death rates from contagious diseases. The JAMA review noted, "Declines were 80% or greater for cases and deaths of most vaccine-preventable diseases targeted since 1980 including hepatitis A, acute hepatitis B, Hib, and varicella. Declines in cases and deaths of invasive S pneumoniae were 34% and 25%, respectively."

The Tycho Project at the University of Pittsburgh estimates that vaccination has prevented as many 103 million cases of infectious diseases since 1924 in the United States. That's the kind of science that Kennedy and his commission will need to look at. Finally, the notion that vaccinations somehow cause autism has been thoroughly debunked many times. I will be following the Kennedy vaccine commission's deliberations with considerable interest. We do live in interesting times.

*Apparently Kennedy has since apologized for likening vaccination to the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis.

UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that Kennedy may have read too much into his chat with Trump. A tweet from the Times' White House correspondet Maggie Haberman reports this statement from Trump: "The President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy, Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas. The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a committee on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The President-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals."

We do live in interesting times, don't we?

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  1. Anti-vaxxer. And I bet this clown is total Carbon Believer. And GMO’s are bad.

    That’s three strikes for science.

      1. “”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 said.”

        It’s a great day for Lamarckians if Joe has inherited characteristics of his great-aunt’s lobotomy

  2. Sure, we may have prevented a few major die offs, but what has it cost us in lost evolution advancement? We might all be supermen now if we had let the weak die.

    1. Something about three generations of idiots?

    2. Well, in all fairness to Mr. Kennedy, we wouldn’t ALL be supermen, would we? Just the ones who survived.

  3. I’m conflicted here. Kennedy has a terrible stance on the actual science of vaccines, whereas Bailey has a terrible, anti-libertarian stance on mandatory vaccination. And I can’t even say ‘a pox on both their houses’ because one has already vaccinated for most poxes, and the researchers won’t let me near the smallpox vials anymore.

    1. I’ll side with the guy who isn’t pushing debunked ideas that, if widely accepted, would lead to countless deaths.

      1. Why bring Krugman into this just to denounce him?

        1. Hahahaha, nice one.

          Is Bailey’s actual stance forced immunization for everyone, or is it more “since we have mandatory government school, the government has the power to make your kid get vaccinated.”?

          1. Going off memory and my interpretation, he’s gone beyond just the kids/public schools thing. When that whole Ebola hysteria was going on he was quite clearly for forced quarantines. He’s argued that you don’t have the right to spread diseases more broadly and that it is an infringement of his/everyone elses rights.

            1. ^ This.

              It was an “air is like the commons, and you are polluting it with your disease” argument.

            2. When that whole Ebola hysteria was going on he was quite clearly for forced quarantines.

              To be fair, a lot of commenters here were freaking that there was going to be an epidemic in the US and that the libertarians wanted to kill us all because OPEN BORDERS ZOMG!!!111!!!

            3. Well, to be fair, it is arguable that knowingly acting in ways that have a high risk of transmitting dangerous diseases to other people is a violation of the non-aggression principle.

    2. It isn’t an anti-libertarian stance.

      The problem is, their decision does affect everyone else. Once vaccination levels drop below the numbers required for herd immunity lots of people are going to die. I have no way of knowing if the vaccinations I’ve had may not have taken or may have become ineffective over my lifetime (and neither do you), but when practically everyone has had them, I don’t have to worry. Compulsory vaccination may become necessary if the health of the population is put at risk by enough people. That’s just the simple fact of the matter.

      I wouldn’t have a problem if anti-vaccination people walled themselves off from society and provided for themselves in their own quarantined city and never left it. The Amish provide for themselves just fine.

      1. Oh fuck you with a rusty pole. It is totally anti-libertarian. That’s like saying mandatory seat belt laws are libertarian because they increase injuries during accidents, which increases medical costs for everyone.

        Fuck off, slaver.

        1. *not wearing a seat belt increases injuries during accidents

          You know what I meant. It is late and I am tired.

          1. And seat belt laws only affect you, not other people. So it’s a bad analogy.

            Well, unless you fly out of the car and hit someone else. Which is possible. But that’s unlikely. Whereas you will spread germs to other people.

        2. Not getting vaccinations is a violation of the non-aggression principle – you are spreading germs and making others sick.

          1. Pure unadulterated bullshit.

  4. Are we still having fun with all the Trump-trolling?

    1. UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that Kennedy may have read too much into his chat with Trump. A tweet from the Times’ White House correspondet Maggie Haberman reports this statement from Trump: “The President-elect enjoyed his discussion with Robert Kennedy, Jr. on a range of issues and appreciates his thoughts and ideas. The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a committee on Autism, which affects so many families; however no decisions have been made at this time. The President-elect looks forward to continuing the discussion about all aspects of Autism with many groups and individuals.”


      1. I firmly believe that Trump holds whatever opinion the last person he spoke to has. Or the opposite of it, depending on whether he likes or dislikes that person.

        1. Add “and he probably forgets at least half of it the next day” and I’m with you.

          1. Why the fuck isn’t Peter Thiel Wormtonguing it up then?

            “Yes, King Trump, the bureaucracies, they’re all against you, plotting your downfall, you should do away with them while you still can.”

            1. Because he isn’t a hot Ukrainian blonde with huge tits?

              For proper Wormtonguing you need daily access, and it doesn’t seem anyone outside Trump’s family gets it. The above description seems the easiest way to infiltrate said family.

              1. Melania would probably have someone like that whacked within a day. There’s no way she’s going to end up like Ivana.

              2. “hot Ukrainian blonde with huge tits”

                Next google porn search selected.

                1. Not Bing?

      2. Well, damn – Trump must be getting tired of all the whining, he usually let’s this stuff fester for a few days just for larfs. He makes some off-hand comment and everybody rushes to speculate as to what the deep significance of it is and then he announces he was just talking shit and it don’t mean nothing – but by then everybody’s already rushed off to speculate on some other nonsense that fell out of his face.

        I keep trying to tell you, he’s a troll and nothing he says has any significance whatsoever.

        1. I agree that Trump is a troll. He’s on a major power trip, and as a narcissist, his head must be ready to explode. He says things just to get a rise out of everyone. The internet blows up, people bicker back and forth either ready to jump on everything he says or worshipping him as the next Jesus, and he’s just sitting back feeling like he’s God, just fucking with everyone. This is already getting old.

  5. OT

    I’ve been wondering why the govt borrows if it’s just going to pay it back by inflation. Wouldn’t it be cheaper just to create the money instead of borrowing and creating even more later, because of interest?

    I guess the reason is inflating instead of borrowing and then inflating would cause immediate pain.

    More inflation over a longer period vs. less inflation over a shorter period

    1. Maybe it just looks worse when you go ahead and print it? Kind of like: Fuck You, we aren’t even pretending to care anymore.

    2. Hypernormalisation.

      By contrast, the responses of policy-makers to 2008’s financial crisis suggest the psychology of hypernormalisation. Quantitative easing (also known as money printing) and interest rate suppression (to zero percent and, in Europe, negative interest rates) are not working and will never result in sustained increases in productivity, income and employment. However, as our leaders are unable to consider alternative policy solutions, they have to pretend that they are working.

      To understand why our leaders are unable to consider alternative policy solutions such as interest rate normalization and banking reform one only needs to understand that while such policies would lay the groundwork for a sustained recovery, they would also expose many of the world’s biggest banks as insolvent. As the financial sector is a powerful constituency (and a generous donor to political campaigns) the banks get the free money they need, even if such policies harm society as a whole.

  6. Poor, poor Al Sharpton

    Faces Embarrassingly Low Turnout for Inaugural March

    Al Sharpton will be marching on Washington on Martin Luther King Day, just five days before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. It may be a lonely walk.

    Sharpton’s “We Shall Not Be Moved” march has piqued the interest of fewer than 1,000 people on Facebook, as of publication. A rival event, the Women’s March on Washington, had already secured 175,000 RSVPs, with an additional 250,000 people saying they’re interested in attending.

    1. I really don’t understand the racism charge from the black community. Hispanics and Muslims (let’s ignore that Muslim isn’t a race for the sake of discussion) I can at least see where they’ve been led to believe that.

      But does it all hinge on the fact that he was supported by racist groups and the white lower/middle class? Why was their support for Democrats over the last 40 years not a problem?

      1. From what I see, it’s the fact that he ran as a Republican. Possibly the Birther thing (and for all the wiggling, he did get involved and take point on it), but mostly, Republican = hates black people.

        Absent Birther, he could have run in Democrat primary instead of Bernie and no one would have batted an eye.

        1. Kind of a combination of all of the the things mentioned, plus a few other things. Going off DesigNate’s point about Hispanics and Muslims, a lot of that sentiment will spill over to other minority groups that assume or fear they’ll get lumped in with the others. Additionally, there’s accusations from some guy who wrote a book about Trump, and he also pissed a lot of people off with his involvement in the Central Park Five fiasco, something that he’s never apologized for and even doubled down on a few years back.

          1. Trump incited a lot of hate and division, which works against blacks. He encouraged people to feel like they had to stop being politically correct and could now just come out and say everything they were feeling but weren’t supposed to admit unless behind closed doors or with their friends. Racism did not get much better over the past few centuries, it’s just been better disguised with innuendos, implications and jokes. I grew up in a pretty liberal area in the north, and the amount of racist comments that would be thrown around was probably worse than what you might here in the south. People hid prejudice and racism with the guise of classism. If you were educated, wealthy and willing to assimilate to white culture, then no worries, but poor people get the wrath of all of our angst, including poor whites (rednecks, hillbillies, white trash, etc).

            1. *hear in the south*

          2. The Central Park Five were guilty as sin, and them getting off because of someone’s no-consequence jailhouse confession was ludicrous.

        2. HIllary’s 2008 campaign floated the birther charge very early on, so even being a birther doesn’t prevent you from running as a Democrat.

    2. I posted this Al Sharpton clip earlier today, because the other protagonist, Roy Innis, just died.

    3. Well, here’s the deal: Sharpton probably fucked up the invite so badly because he has trouble with the English language. The invitees probably THINK the march is in March and are all like, “I can RSVP in late February.”

    4. He should march down to the IRS headquarters while he’s there and pay his back taxes.

  7. The problem with the vaccines is not the science of vaccines. The problem is that we know that the pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted, and we know that the ruling class globalists want to reduce the human population by a very large percent, and we know that the ruling class and their toadies are more than willing to murder us with deliberately harmful vaccines. The only defense the average joe and jane has against being murdered with a poisoned vaccine is the legal right to opt out and take their statistical chances with the probabilities of contracting an otherwise avoidable disease. So, in this case, the crypto-fascist pseudo-libertarian asswipe Ronald Bailey is dead wrong and the liberal doofus RFK Jr. has accidently swerved in to the correct position, as far as it goes. RFK’s biggest mistake was apologizing for comparing the vaccine holocaust to the Nazi holocaust. He doesn’t know that he should never ever EVER apologize for telling the truth.

    1. You can run from the vaccines, but not the chemtrails, my friend.

      1. Neither matter when the majority of the population are mind controlled by the fluoride in the drinking water.

        1. Its those smart meters that pose the greatest threat to civilization.

    2. He should have compared vaccines to the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center.

    3. That’s just what they want you to think.

    4. Elvis’ alien love child has your number, James.

    5. OH, and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership is the most awesome screenname link anyone here has.

      1. Damn, apparently they are also for Preservation of 90s Web Page Design., never forget! *insert crying bald eagle head here*

    6. I’m totally with you. It’s way better for your kid to get polio or mumps or whooping cough then to be poisoned or tagged by getting vaccinated against those diseases.

    7. Needs more caps and a few misspelled words. I give it a B+, but only because of this line:
      “crypto-fascist pseudo-libertarian asswipe Ronald Bailey”


    9. How come you didn’t hyphenate ass-wipe? Seems inconsistent.

    10. So you are not concerned about the 80,000 other chemicals in our environment, most of which do not have MSDS sheets or have been tested for safety? PTFE’s, CFC’s, PCB’s, PBDE’s, BPA, BPS, pthalates, sulfites, lead, arsenic, mercury, seriously, the list goes on. There is no way to create a perfect control, or to study these chemicals with the exclusion of others to determine which, if any, or what combination of potential toxins, may have neurodegenerative effects, be a neurotoxin, carcinogen, endocrine disruptor, or have other deleterious effects. At least vaccines help to reduce the risk of young children (and the rest of society) from contracting diseases that can be harmful or fatal. Do you really need your nonstick pan if it’s poisoning you? Anyone who blames vaccines is missing the much bigger picture of many environmental toxins that children are exposed to in utero and postnatally that may be far more dangerous.

      1. zOMG>>>>the sky is falling……C. Little

        1. I never said the sky was falling. I only stated that vaccines are likely not the cause/the sole cause of any concerns of developmental delays or neurological defects when there are so many other possible causes. You can’t live in a bubble, and you can’t avoid all of these chemicals. Refusing vaccination to protect against diseased that can kill you, for a risk of autism, which does not kill you is poor judgement, especially when any number of chemicals may or may not even be causative.

  8. Great moments in accidental honesty

    “Hate gives identity.”
    Ta -Nehisi Coates

    1. I’m impressed, that’s a clear, understandable sentence with no superfluous clauses, 2-dollar words nor half-baked digressions. Maybe he should steer towards Twitter as a future publishing platform of choice?

      1. His recent experience writing comic books has taught him for to fit words into tiny bubbles?

    2. He was referring to Whitey!

  9. file under: it’s not fair when *they* do it!

    Matthew Pratt Guterl, chair of Brown’s American Studies Department and a vigorous defender of campus safe spaces, argues in an op-ed for The New Republic that the federalist conception of the states as “laboratories of democracy” was originally conceived as a way of promoting “liberal and progressive ideas,” but has since been “perversely rewritten” by Republican legislators who use the power of state governments “not merely to slow down liberalism, but to turn it to dust and ash in the broad center of the country.”

    1. Progressive ideas like the Mason Dixon Line?

    2. Well, without RTFA, there is something to be said for the guy’s position.

      Here’s how Justice Brandeis, in his famous dissent, described the idea

      “The discoveries in physical science, the triumphs in invention, attest the value of the process of trial and error. In large measure, these advances have been due to experimentation. In those fields experimentation has, for two centuries, been not only free but encouraged. Some people assert that our present plight is due, in part, to the limitations set by courts upon experimentation in the fields of social and economic science; and to the discouragement to which proposals for betterment there have been subjected otherwise. There must be power in the states and the nation to remould, through experimentation, our economic practices and institutions to meet changing social and economic needs….

      “To stay experimentation in things social and economic is a grave responsibility. Denial of the right to experiment may be fraught with serious consequences to the nation. It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”

      So…try out progressive ideas at the state level, select some of these experiments to foist on the whole country.

      1. In that case, Oklahoma had a monopolistic law which the Court’s majority struck down as an interference with the right to earn a living.

        Brandeis is saying that the states must be allowed to experiment with such laws, and if this particular law didn’t work, heck, it’s only Oklahoma (“without risk to the rest of the country”).

        But if the experiment “works,” then Brandeis is suggesting that the “nation” (federal government) could adopt the idea and impose it on everyone.

    3. What an ass Guterl is…while he is pontificating, Rhode Island has a lower African American high school graduation rate than most Red states. It would seem to me offering at least a high school education to minorities would be a progressive and empowering idea, as opposed to letting them turn to ash in places like Illinois and D.C.

  10. too funny

    Judge rules that Trump’s “vague and simplistic” tweets are protected by First Ammendment
    A political strategist said her reputation was trashed when Trump called her a “dummy” on Twitter

    1. He said she turned against him after he wouldn’t give her a job.

  11. Is this an olive branch to democrats?

  12. Thanks for the fake news Bailey…keep up the excellent scientific inquiry.

    1. R: Fake = Robert Kennedy Jr.

      1. See what happens when you trust a Kennedy?

  13. We do live in interesting times, don’t we?

    This, too, shall pass.

  14. The New York Times is reporting that Kennedy may have read too much into his chat with Trump.

    In Kennedy’s defence he was probably drunk off his ass both when he talked to Trump and when he claimed to be given a position. And all the other times too.

    1. C: Just FYI – the post was updated with that info a couple of hours back.

    2. Or he was running a high fever from the flu that he didn’t get vaccinated against?

  15. The President-elect is exploring the possibility of forming a committee on Autism…

    Oh, hell no! They’ll start registering us to a list and use it as an excuse to deny us gun rights!

  16. Why was Trump chatting with this idiot son in the first place?

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