Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Anti-Vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. to Chair a Vaccine Commission

U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump has met with anti-vaxxer RFK, Jr. to solicit him for a committee on vaccine safety and research integrity.  Sadly but not surprisingly such an appointment is on par with Trump's other picks for cabinet positions (although this isn't a cabinet position).  RFK, Jr.'s monomania regarding thiomersal has been debunked by the scientific community repeatedly.  Which leads me to believe that failure on that front will lead RFK, Jr. to turn his sights on "too many too soon" which Trump fervently believes.

It is unclear whether Trump is unaware of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office and the Vaccine Safety Datalink or simply doing an end run around them because he can't exert any direct control over them.  In any event, Trump is feeding his own anti-vaxx proclivities at the U.S. taxpayers' expense. Ultimately it is doubtful that anything meaningful will emerge from such a committee but that doesn't mean that RFK, Jr. can't cause a lot of trouble, not to mention the new life which will be breathed into the anti-vaxx movement.  How long before Andrew Wakefield is announced as a co-chair or committee member?

RFK, Jr. admits in an interview with ScienceMag that he has no expertise in science and will place "science people and prominent Americans".
How many people will be on the commission?
A dozen people -- a mix between science people and prominent Americans.
Who will you ask to serve?
I couldn’t tell you. I just finished meeting with the President-elect an hour ago.
When you say “science people,” do you mean experts from the scientific establishment?
Prominent scientists.
Do you mean prominent vaccinologists who believe in the safety and efficacy of today’s vaccines?
We are going to look for people who have expertise in toxicology, epidemiology and in public health.
Do you have scientific training?
No.  My background is I’m an environmental lawyer.  I’m not a scientist. But I have an expertise, I would say in reading science and spotting junk science because that’s what I do with most of my time.

Translation: He is going to look for people who might know a little bit more on the subject of vaccinology who are just as anti-vaccine as he is to launch a performance art showing.  Somehow I suspect that RFK, Jr. and his future committee members aren't exactly qualified to evaluate the science coming out of the CDC.  If it wasn't for the momentary pain in the arse RFK, Jr. and his little band of anti-vaxx warriors will cause for hard-working ethical people, it would be rather entertaining.

I am going to choose to look at the bright side of this which is another Trump rock will be turned over and we will get to see who crawls out.  Just as foisting Breitbart into the spotlight emboldened racists and let us see who they really are, this committee will undoubtedly have the same effect by emboldening anti-vaxx politicians and others who have cravenly kept to the shadows on the subject.  We will get to see who they are and may they have the same backlash inflicted upon them as the racist, bigoted Breitbart fake news site has.

Had organisations such as the Centers for Disease Control, the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics been more proactive and damning of anti-vaxx quack physicians and activities, perhaps the creation of a committee such as this would have been more politically unsavoury.  It's time for these organisations, physicians and scientists to step up and push back against pseudo-scientific claims and those who make them and stop relying upon lightning-rods like Dr. Offit to be the only one doing their dirty work for them.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Andrew Wakefield, Dr. Bob Sears and all their other associates are inexpert has-beens and wannbes but that doesn't mean their activities haven't done substantial damage to public health and public trust in our healthcare agencies.  It's time for all of us who are interested in public health and the well-being of our children to send a clear, organised message to these anti-science predators that their meddling in affairs that are way over their heads will not be tolerated.


  1. The only quackery is the misinformation provided in this ridiculous blog. So what Big Pharma company are you employed with and exactly what is your technical expertise in the area?

  2. Anonymous, if there is misinformation here you will have no problem pointing that out instead of cowardly falling back on the pharma shill gambit.

  3. Hello Travis Schwochert from Wisconsin the vile troll with a pathetic hobby.

  4. Aside from the snide remarks, threats and name calling, what ARE your credentials? I know one thing. I am the parent of a absolutely vaccine damaged child. One who started changing immediately after his 6 month shot, and I know of other vaccine injuries and failures. So my mission in life is to make sure no other children have to suffer at the hands of greedy big pharma. Obviously you yourself know that you are unqualified to answer because all we get is threats and name calling and the classic you "don't have the time" (to answer to) such "twaddle". Methinks you do your researching at the Google library much as the those you scorn do. You really have to have rocks in your head if you think a newborn baby needs the Hep B shot. This entire site is one big joke. A joke on humanity. And the only reason you can sleep at night is because you are too clueless to see the damage you propagate at as a vaccine apologist. What a pathetic 'hobby'.

  5. Dear Anonymous, No one is forcing you to read here. Perhaps you should focus on the content of a post and comment on that instead of complaining about the authors.

  6. Travis Schwochert, sexually frustrated and copraphage troll from Wisconsin has ensured comment moderation.

  7. Travis Schwochert from Endeavor, Wisconsin; Since you saw fit to threaten me in addition to harassing me and my commentors here and elsewhere, I'm going to help you find that job you are looking for. By posting every single comment you have made here that's now residing in my spam bin along with your foul usernames, I have no doubt a sicko like Milo Yiannopoulos could use someone like you as a crowd-fluffer or boot-licker. Now go crawl back under the rock you came from and perhaps I'll tire of seeing your filthy name rubbish my blog.