State Watch — Verizon
Guests urged to be vaccinated for party at anti-vax Kennedy’s home: report
Guests of a holiday party thrown at Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s home were urged to be vaccinated in order to attend, according to a report by Politico.
Kennedy, the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, is a longtime, prominent anti-vaccine advocate. Because of his history speaking against vaccination, guests were surprised when they received an invitation for a party at his California home that asked those attending to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and to take COVID-19 tests beforehand, Politico reported.
Kennedy, however, told Politico that it was the doing of his wife, “Curb Your Enthusiasm” actress Cheryl Hines, as he said the party was held for Hines’s friends in the entertainment industry. Kennedy stated that he had not been aware of the contents of the invitation prior to the day of the party.
Kennedy said to Politico, “I guess I’m not always the boss at my own house.”
He said that guests’ test results and vaccination status were not verified upon arrival to the party at his home, per Politico.
Children’s Health Defense media relations Director Rita Schreffler shared a statement from Kennedy with The Hill claiming that he did not require vaccinations in order to attend.
“Politico and other news outlets have written near-identical stories regarding a recent holiday party at my home. The angle of these stories is that I required guests to be vaccinated in order to attend. I did not,” he said, according to the spokesperson.
“I believe that every person has the right to make health decisions free from coercion, threats or force by governments, employers, and fellow citizens. I don’t always agree with the decisions of others, of course, but I always support their liberty to decide for themselves. I extend this respect to everyone including colleagues, friends, and family members.”
This news comes after Kennedy was the focus of an article published by The Associated Press Wednesday that outlined his long history of pushing anti-vaccine disinformation.
The article discussed Kennedy’s recent book release, “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” which remains a best-seller on Amazon.
“It is criminal medical malpractice to give a child one of these vaccines,” Kennedy stated at a far-right conference, according to the AP, going against the consensus of medical experts.
Kennedy said at the same conference that profits from his book would go to his charity Children’s Health Defense, which has fueled misinformation against COVID-19 vaccines while drawing credibility from Kennedy’s family name, per to the AP.
Other members of Kennedy’s family, however, have called his anti-vaccine work “dangerous,” the AP reported.
Kennedy’s sister Kerry Kennedy has spoken out against his use of the former president’s name to promote his anti-vaccine disinformation, according to the AP.
“Anyone who believes this does not know their history. Vaccinations were a major effort of John F. Kennedy, both as a senator and later as president,” she said, per the AP.
“I love Bobby, I think he’s just completely wrong on this issue and very dangerous,” added Kerry. “Failure to take vaccines puts people’s lives at risk. It not only impacts the person who refuses the jab but imperils the community at large.”
Kennedy has been named one of the internet’s “Disinformation Dozen” — the top disseminators of disinformation about vaccines online — by the Center for Digital Hate, per the AP, in part because of the false information spread through the website for his charity.
Posts related to vaccines from Children’s Health Defense have been shared more often on Twitter than those from credible news sources including CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Indiana University’s Observatory on Social Media, per the AP.
Kennedy himself was banned from Instagram earlier this year for spreading disinformation about vaccines on the platform.
Updated Dec. 18, 12:44 p.m.