Trump Meeting With RFK Jr. To Chat About How Vaccines Totally Cause Autism (They Don't)
During the election, Robert Kennedy Jr. had some harsh words for Donald Trump, calling him "dangerous" and a "demagogue," and expressing concerns about his tendency towards "bigotry, anger and fear." All of which are very accurate!
However, he's putting all that aside, we guess, in favor of pursuing common ground with the PEOTUS -- their shared belief in a totally dumb thing! According to incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer, RFK Jr and Trump are gonna get together and have a chat today about how they both think vaccines cause autism, even though they definitely do not do that.
I was about to suggest that the incoming president ought to be involved in more important things right now than sitting around talking about conspiracy theories, but then I remembered that the incoming president is Donald Trump, and that if he weren't doing that, he'd just be whining on Twitter about a celebrity saying mean things about him. So I guess this is just as good a use of his time as any!
Although RFK Jr. does nice things for the environment, and had a nice Dad who my Dad is still very sad did not become president, and is married to Cheryl Hines from "Curb Your Enthusiasm," he is unfortunately also a giant weirdo about vaccines. In 2005, Kennedy wrote an article for Rolling Stone titled "Deadly Immunity" -- in which he suggested that vaccines cause not just autism, but also ADHD and speech delays.
While promoting the anti-vaccination documentary Trace Amounts in Sacramento in 2015, Kennedy stated that “They can put anything they want in that vaccine and they have no accountability for it,” which is not at all true! That's why we have regulations! You know, the kind of regulations Donald Trump wants to get rid of?
He also compared the damage he thinks vaccines do to the Holocaust!
“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.”
You know what also causes a fever and could kill you? Measles! And remember that time we had a measles breakout and over 140 people got measles thanks to undervaccination? Yeah! That was a poor time! Oh! How about earlier this year, when like 400 people in Arkansas got the mumps? Oh, or that time, like now, when whooping cough rates keep going up and babies are dying as a result?
Given the fact that Trump has already met with Andrew Wakefield, the discredited scientist who first came up with the "vaccines cause autism" bullshit, it's looking as though anti-vaccine crap is going to be a bigger thing for this presidency than many people were assuming it would be. In many of the pro-Trump areas of the internet I visit in order to torture myself, I have noticed that his supporters brush off his anti-vaxxer beliefs as an adorable quirk of some kind that would have no impact on anything, rather than something that could end in them or their child getting measles or whooping cough. WHOOPS!
On the bright side for anti-vaxxers, now that the GOP is repealing and "replacing" Obamacare and getting rid of all those pesky Medicaid expansions, there are going to be a lot of uninsured people out there who won't even be able to afford to get their babies vaccinated -- because vaccinations, without insurance, cost over a thousand dollars. Just think of all the babies that won't have vaccine-related autism or ADHD, because they'll be dead! Not to mention all the adults who can peacefully die of measles or whooping cough contracted from someone who couldn't afford insurance, safe in the knowledge that at least the government didn't take any of their money to pay for that person's health care!
Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse