Trump Asks Vaccine Skeptic Robert Kennedy Jr. To Lead Commission On ‘Vaccine Safety’


Donald Trump asked Robert Kennedy Jr., a proponent of a widely discredited theory that vaccines cause autism, to chair a new commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity, according to Kennedy.

The stunning move would contradict established science, medicine and the government’s position on the issue. It comes after Trump – who has long been critical of vaccines – met at Trump Tower with Kennedy, who has spearheaded efforts to roll back child vaccination laws.

Trump transition officials did not respond to requests for comment on the commission.

Speaking to reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, on Tuesday, Kennedy said that Trump called him to request the meeting, and he accepted the position on the new commission. It is unclear exactly what role the commission would play.

“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies, and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said. “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.”

“And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have – he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I – but they’re as safe as they possibly can be,” he added.

The announcement was met with alarm from health professionals who say that putting a proponent of a conspiracy theory in a position of authority on this issue is dangerous.

“That’s very frightening, it’s difficult to imagine anyone less qualified to serve on a commission for vaccine science,” said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, a nonprofit that works to control, treat and eliminate vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases.

“The science is clear: massive evidence showing no link between vaccines and autism, and as both a scientist who develops vaccines for poverty related neglected diseases and the father of an adult daughter with autism, there’s not even any plausibility for a link,” Hotez continued. “Autism is a genetic condition.”

“Our nation’s public health will suffer if this nascent neo-antivaxxer movement is not stopped immediately,” he added.

Earlier, the meeting had been announced by a spokesman for the Trump transition team, Sean Spicer, who said that the two would discuss vaccines at Trump Tower.

Trump notably expressed support for the theory at a Republican presidential debate in 2015.

“You take this little beautiful baby, and you pump . . .” he said of vaccinating children. “We had so many instances, people that work for me, just the other day, 2 years old, a beautiful child, went to have the vaccine and came back and a week later got a tremendous fever, got very, very sick, now is autistic.”

The comments were widely denounced by medical professionals who say that there is no evidence that vaccines lead to autism. In fact, the study that popularized the idea has been retracted and discredited as fraudulent. Multiple high-quality studies have found no link between vaccines and autism.

But Trump’s views date back several years.

In tweets as early as 2012, Trump expressed skepticism about vaccines, and in 2014 said that “doctors lied” about vaccines.

In other tweets, Trump has referred to vaccines as the cause of “doctor-inflicted autism.”

“Massive combined inoculations to small children is the cause for big increase in autism,” Trump said in an August 2012 tweet.

At the presidential debate in 2015, he claimed that his children had been vaccinated in small doses.

“I am totally in favor of vaccines, but I want smaller doses over a longer period of time,” Trump said. “Because you take a baby in, and I’ve seen it. I’ve had my children taken care of over a long period of time, over a two or three year period of time.”

But those statements were denounced as “false” by the American Academy of Pediatrics, who released a strongly worded condemnation following the Republican debate.

“Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature,” said Karen Remley, executive director of AAP. “It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.”

“There is no ‘alternative’ immunization schedule. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease for a longer period of time; it does not make vaccinating safer. Vaccines work, plain and simple,” she added.

Kennedy has been a notable proponent of nonmedical exemptions for parents who seek to prevent their children from being vaccinated, which is mandatory in most states.

He has argued that mercury-based additives in vaccines explain the link to autism. And he has alleged that government scientists, journalists and pharmaceutical companies have colluded to hide the truth from the public.

“They get the shot. That night they have a fever of 103. They go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” Kennedy said at the premiere of an anti-vaccination film screening in California in 2015. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.

(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Abby Phillip, Lena H. Sun 



  1. I’m very happy about Trump’s pro Israel stance and also about some of his politically conservative opinions. But the man is so stupid and so ignorant that it’s scary. Now this… For some reason this ignorant anti vaccine movement has taken hold of alot of frum people. It’s ignorant and it’s dangerous, as is Trump.

  2. Mr. Kennedy has “great” credentials to head this effort.
    Not only is he absolutely untrained in anything medical, his whole exposure to Biology in general is his environmental law experience.
    Secondly, putting anyone in charge of anything about which the person already has defined and definite negative notions, especially ones gotten from online anecdotes, isn’t going to produce honest evaluations and results. This is akin to hiring a person who believes in flat earth to captain a ship for circumnavigating the globe.

    • Which is the exact reason why anyone with a conflict of interest- such as medical schools accepting donations from pharmaceutical companies, the CDC funded by big pharma, and individual doctors such as Paul Profit who is the biggest pusher of vaccines (surprise surprise he invented the rotavirus vaccine)- should NOT be the ones doing vaccine safety studies!!

      • If you dont like science throw away your computer put down your phone stop going to docters. Essentailly stop interacting witht the modern world. Gotta love the selective reasoning when it comes to vaccines!

  3. Posts #1 & #2 are spot on. Unfortunately, we can expect the anti-vaxxers to come swarming here (as they always have in the past) to post their ignorant and dangerous views on modern medicine.

  4. thats what checks & balances is all about.
    If he took someone that was gung ho – part of the health care billion dollar industry, we’d never know about any dangers that crop up.

    In general, Trump has picked very solid picks!

  5. Kennedy has been a true naturalist for quite some time. In these things he’s pretty good and accurate. He did great work in protesting the Navy bombing exercises in Vieques back in 01. He has done some good work over the years. If he can prove medically that vaccines are dangerous for us to take, so be it. What are you chevra all nervous about? The truth is the truth not matter what the evil media tries to spin. Let’s really get the facts once and for all so we can end the debate.
    As an aside, there are rumors that Trump’s youngest son is autistic. That might be why he has a vested interest in findng out the truth.

  6. This is wonderful news! Robert Kennedy Jr has been at the forefront of this issue for the past decade. I think this article missed one crucial fact. CDC scientist Dr. William Thompson came forward and admitted that he and his colleagues at the CDC committed scientific fraud on their MMR-Autism study. They manipulated data, kicked kids off the study in order to get rid of this effect and threw the original papers in the garbage can. Thompson kept hard copies of the study plus internal emails/notes, which he handed over to congressman Bill Posey. If we want to talk about “fraud”, let’s start with the CDC’s study. B’H Trump is going to drain this swamp! The world will find out the truth very soon

  7. There is a radio host named Gary Knowles where a lot of the Anti vacxxers get their chizuk from. He has lately turned on Hillary, big time. He claims that the Clintons never had an honest day in their lives and the CIA was in collusion with them. Very interesting stuff.

  8. Harvey W., what I am nervous about is that the anti vaccination ignoramuses are out in the public spreading their germs to vulnerable people. My son was chavrusas with the son of an anti vaxxer, who had the mumps. The mumps was going around the Yeshiva. (Yes, my son was vaccinated, but admittedly, the vaccinations aren’t perfect, even as they have done enormous good for most of us) That made me very nervous. Anti vaxxers, you’re entitled to your opinions, but stay away from the rest of us! MissMarvelous, where in the world do you get this misinformation from?!?! DO you also believe in aliens coming from outer space in UFO’s?

  9. I don’t see the problem. If people want to vaccinate they should, and if people don’t want to vaccinate they should not. Those people who vaccinate should not blame those who decline it, and those who don’t vaccinate should not harass those who do. There are all sort of different medical opinions, do you ever hear people fight because someone treats surgically a conditions that others recommend pharmacological treatment, or vice versa? Do you ever hear those who take cholesterol-lowering or pressure-controlling meds blaming their ailment upon those who live with the risk, or vice versa? Grow up.

    • Anti-vaxxers endanger others and prevent the eradication of dangerous and deadly diseases.

      Applying the same laissez faire logic elsewhere:
      “I don’t see the problem. If people want to drink and drive they should, and if people don’t want to drive drunk they should not. Those people who drive drunk should not blame those who decline to, and those who don’t drive drunk should not harass those who do.”

  10. ANonymous 9:51 am: Tell that to the people whose immune systems are compromised and can’t get the vaccine or are more prone to catching these diseases, i.e. people on chemotherapy for whom chicken pox is extremely dangerous. Tell that to any of us who can catch the germs for difficult diseases even if we were vaccinated. The vaccine reduces the possibility of catching these diseases, which has been an amazing Yeshua for many years, but it doesn’t eliminate the possibility altogether, which makes the anti vaccination folks downright dangerous to be around.

  11. Anonymous 9:51
    You don’t see a problem only because deep thinkers like yourself ARE the problem!!!
    Do you know why you didn’t die of small pox as a child, or survived with compromised health and pock marks all over your body? Only because of compulsory vaccination in every single country, was the disease totally eradicated.
    Have you been to a polio ward, witnessing young people in iron lung machines? You must be too young for that, and too uneducated, as well, to realize that it was solely due to compulsory vaccination that the disease was contained in civilized world, while in some backward regions it still occurs.
    Now, would you trust some online “experts” to diagnose and treat your own illnesses? Methinks not. You probably tun to the best and the most experienced physician, as you well should, spend the time and money to get the best tests, medications and treatments, because you want to grow old, and in good health. Why, then, when these same professionals, who have been trained in the field and have vast experience, tell you how idiotic it is not to have your children vaccinated, you bring up some junk science to confuse your own self?
    Do you really think that the medical profession makes more money off these few shots than having you in ICU for a week with measles caused brain swelling, and then putting you through four month of rehab? Count again, or don’t ever do your own tax returns.

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