Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of the late U.S. president John F. Kennedy, has recently angered many by linking the increase in autism cases to childhood vaccinations and likening the situation to a "holocaust".
'Pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted'
Speaking in Sacramento, California at the screening of Trace Amounts, an anti-vaccination movie, Kennedy opposed a new bill that would make it more difficult for parents to avoid vaccinating their kids. According to the Guardian, Kennedy blamed the ingredients in vaccines for the rise in autism cases:
"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."
He also stated that governments and pharmaceutical companies cannot be trusted when it comes to vaccination ingredients.
Kennedy has since issued an apology for using of the word "holocaust" so flippantly. According to the New York Post, he explained that it was an impromptu speech and that at the time he had struggled to find a way to accurately describe the situation:
“I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word holocaust to describe the autism epidemic. I employed the term during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families.”
While he has apologised for his holocaust comment, some are still angered about his view on autism. Those with autism do not have brains that are "gone" nor are their lives "destroyed". These comments were poorly-timed, as April is World Autism Awareness month and instead of improving public knowledge on autism, Kennedy is spreading misinformation on the condition.
Read: Vaccines not to blame for autism
Kennedy is well-known for his stance on unsafe vaccinations and has made a number of inflammatory comments in the past linking the rise of autism to the rise in vaccination schedules during the 1980's.
He believes that thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative and that was commonly used in vaccines, is responsible for the rise in autism and a number of other learning disorders in children.
Kennedy has even edited a book on the topic, titled Thimerosal: Let the Science Speak.
Medical research has yet to find a cause-an-effect link between thimerosal and autism, according to Journal of Pediatrics. Kennedy, however, believes that supportive evidence does exist but the U.S government is desperately trying to hide this information from the public.
In a speech on the 8th of April, he described the U.S Centres for Disease Control (CDC) as a "an absolute cesspool of corruption". The CDC states that since 2001, thimerosal has been removed from all vaccines aside from certain flu vaccines as part of a precautionary measure but Kennedy believes this to be a lie. He believes that the CDC's primary concern is to protect the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry.
Watch this NSC interview where Kennedy describes the "government cover-up" of vaccine-induced autism:
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Spotting autism earlyImage: Robert F. Kennedy Jr at the Natural Resources Defense Council's 20th Anniversary Celebration. Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA. 04-25-09 from Shutterstock