Political dynasty: Controversial anti-vaccine activist Robert Kennedy Jr. launched his bid for US president

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Environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. filed papers with the Federal Election Commission at run for president in 2024 as a Democrat.

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The 69-year-old is the son of former New York Senator, US Attorney General, and 1968 assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, and nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.

Last month he hinted at a chance to run for president: “If I feel like I can raise the money and mobilize enough people to win, I’ll join the race,” he wrote on his Twitter account at the time.

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“My main priority will be put an end to the corrupt fusion of state and corporate power which has ruined our economy, splintered the middle class, polluted our landscapes and waters, poisoned our children and robbed us of our values ​​and freedoms,” he added at the time.

Kennedy Jr. is a longtime vaccine skeptic. She has promoted discredited claims linking vaccines and autism and founded the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense. She also criticized the coronavirus vaccine and the federal government’s handling of the pandemic.

In 2019, three of his family members, his sister Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, his brother Joseph P. Kennedy II and his niece Maeve Kennedy McKean, strongly denounced his anti-vaccine views in a Politico op-ed, claiming he was “part of a disinformation campaign that is having harrowing and deadly consequences.”

In January of this year, Kennedy, along with other anti-vaccine figures, filed a lawsuit in Texas against several international media organizations, including the BBC and Reuters, claiming they partnered with social media platforms to censor their content.

In 2021, Instagram closed his account on that network for spreading “debunked” claims about the coronavirus and pandemic vaccines.

As an environmental attorney, Kennedy worked with a group that spearheaded cleanups of the Hudson River. He has also worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council and co-founded an environmental law firm.

If he goes ahead with his presidential bid, Kennedy would be the latest in a long line of family members to enter politics.

His sister Kathleen served as Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003; his brother Joseph, a Massachusetts congressman from 1987 to 1999; and more here, his brother Chris Kennedy was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Illinois in 2018.

The last Kennedy to hold elected office was his nephew, former Massachusetts Representative Joe Kennedy III, who lost the 2020 Democratic Senate primary.

Caroline Kennedy, daughter of former President Kennedy, is currently the United States Ambassador to Australia.

The 2024 Democratic presidential race is just starting to take shape, with President Joe Biden expected to announce his run for a second term.

On the Republican side, there are already four candidates to win the nomination: former President Donald Trump (2017-2021), former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and the former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Source: Clarin

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