I generally avoid covering Robert Kennedy Jr. because he makes me so uncomfortable. Here’s a guy with an impeccably liberal pedigree and the aura of the Kennedy name, and he’s best known these days for being an anti-vaxxer who says terrible sh-t all the time. Even before the pandemic, RFK Jr. was an anti-vaxxer. His name came up in 2019, in association with Jessica Biel – they were working together to encourage California schools to ease vaccine mandates. On Sunday, Robert Kennedy Jr. was speaking at a rally called Defeat the Mandate: An American Homecoming. I CAN’T. The rally was being held at the Lincoln Memorial, which is shameful. At the rally, RFK Jr. said terrible words:
During a Sunday rally in Washington organized by his anti-vaccine nonprofit group Children’s Health Defense, Kennedy complained that people’s rights were being violated by public health measures that had been taken to reduce the number of people sickened and killed by COVID-19. He said the nation’s leading infectious disease doctor, Anthony Fauci, was orchestrating “fascism.”
“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps to Switzerland. You could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,” said Kennedy, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy and the son of his slain brother, former U.S. attorney general, civil rights activist and Democratic presidential contender Robert F. Kennedy.
Kennedy Jr. went on to say that today, “the mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so none of us can run and none of us can hide,” and complained about 5G, the newest generation of wireless communication networks, and about vaccine passports.
It’s horrifying and also unbelievably stupid? That’s another reason why I hate writing about him, it feels like people are amplifying what amounts to hate speech. I mean, he’s literally standing up there, lending the Kennedy aura to 5G conspiracies and saying that at least in Nazi Germany, you could…hide in the attic from a vaccine mandate…?
Obviously, people were outraged. The Anti-Defamation League issued statements, The Auschwitz Museum issued a statement, and even RFK Jr’s wife Cheryl Hines issued a statement:
Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany – including children like Anne Frank – in a debate about vaccines & limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral & intellectual decay.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) January 23, 2022
My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in D.C. was reprehensible and insensitive. The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything. His opinions are not a reflection of my own.
— Cheryl Hines (@CherylHines) January 25, 2022
What’s sad is that this is not the first time RFK Jr. has even drawn parallels between vaccines, vaccine mandates and Nazi Germany. This is just the first time he’s ever had to face this kind of widespread condemnation for it. Which might explain why his apology, which he issued yesterday, was so bad.
I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) January 25, 2022
“My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control…” YOU USED ANNE FRANK’S NAME TO SPREAD A 5G CONSPIRACY.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.