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The Kennedy Family's Vaccine Fight, Explained

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Message Al Hirschfield
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A public spat among boldface names broke out on May 8, when three members of the Kennedy clan published a piece on Politico declaring that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.—son of Bobby Kennedy—has been “tragically wrong” in his years-long crusade against vaccines, a crusade that seems especially irresponsible now as the country suffers through its worst measles outbreak since 1994. Kennedy has become a hero of the anti-vax crowd with his persistent claims that vaccines contain deadly ingredients, particularly a mercury-based preservative known as thimerosal, and that they are linked to autism.

He is wrong on both scores. No vaccines except some formulations of the flu vaccine contain thimerosal, and the type of mercury it uses is ethylmercury, which is cleared from the body quickly and harmlessly. And vaccines do not cause—and are not even associated with—autism. Full stop.

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ARC194238-JFK-Robert-Edward.
(Image by (From Wikimedia) Stoughton, Cecil (Cecil William), 1920-2008, Photographer / http://narademo.umiacs.umd.edu/cgi-bin/isadg/viewobject.pl?object=8942 (direct link, 6.76 MB TIFF)National Archives, Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs, compiled 01/29/1961 , Author: See Source)
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A rapidly aging boy from NJ, with a somewhat radical political bent, who, after quite some time, seems to finally (in the truest sense of the word) be getting it together... Om Sai Ram

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