Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the Democratic presidential hopeful, ardently defended his views on "safe vaccines" and expressed discontent with the current state of the Democratic Party during a NewsNation town hall on Wednesday.
Hosted by Elizabeth Vargas of NewsNation’s “Elizabeth Vargas Reports”, Kennedy tackled a broad spectrum of issues, from the Ukraine conflict to the Democratic Party's direction. His stance on childhood vaccinations became a notable talking point when Dr. Tariq Butt, a family practitioner, confronted Kennedy about his controversial views.
“I’ve never been anti-vaccine, and I’ve said that hundreds and hundreds of times but it doesn’t matter,” Kennedy stated in response to claims that his views were “dangerous.”
“Using a pejorative to describe me is a way of silencing me or marginalizing me,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy, the founder of the nonprofit organization Children's Health Defense, highlighted his advocacy for “safe vaccines.” However, host Vargas countered, pointing out that nearly all scientific and medical bodies consider vaccines to be safe already, contrary to Kennedy's assertion.
“I think virtually every American would agree with my stance on vaccines, which is that vaccines should be tested like other medicines. They should be safety tested,” Kennedy told Butt. “Unfortunately, vaccines are not safety tested, they’re not.”
He questioned the current protocols, claiming, “Of the 72 vaccine doses now mandated — essentially mandated, they’re recommended but they’re really mandated — for American children, none of them, not one, has ever been subject to a pre-licensing placebo-controlled trial.”
Vargas interjected, disputing his assertion, but Kennedy pointed to a 2016 encounter with Dr. Anthony Fauci. He explained he'd requested pre-licensing safety test documentation for “any vaccine,” and when he sued the Department of Health and Human Services for it, they failed to provide any.
During the town hall, Kennedy also expressed disappointment with the transformation of the Democratic Party, refraining from committing support to the eventual Democratic nominee, stating that it had “lost its way.”
“I believe that the values that I’m trying to promote are the exact values that my father and my uncle would have promoted,” Kennedy said. “One of my purposes in running is to remind the Democratic Party of what we are supposed to represent, and what we’ve always represented. … I want my party back.”