- Tucker Carlson joined his streaming program Monday night by broadcasting his interview with RFK Jr.
- Carlson described the longtime anti-vaccine activist as “one of the smartest” political observers.
- Kennedy made several demonstrably false allegations about the pandemic in the interview.
In a new escalation of his anti-scientific rhetoric regarding the pandemic, Fox News host Tucker Carlson joined his
show by featuring an interview with longtime anti-vaccine conspiracy theorist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on his primetime cable program Monday night.
RFK Jr., son of former Attorney General and Democratic superstar Robert F. Kennedy Sr., appeared on Carlson’s show to promote his book, “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public He has been involved in a number of conspiracy theories since the 1980s, most notably without scientifically credible evidence that vaccines given to children cause autism and other developmental disorders or mental disorders, as well as cancer and food allergies.
Several studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention clearly show that vaccines do not cause autism. Public health experts often attribute the false claim to a 1998 study of just 12 children, which researchers have since thoroughly refuted. The Lancet eventually withdrew the study in 2010.
Kennedy is also behind a large portion of the cost of anti-vaccine ads on Facebook. He leads the World Mercury Project, one of two groups that account for about half of the social network’s advertising revenue in that category. He has also been barred from Instagram for “repeatedly sharing refuted claims about coronavirus or vaccines,” according to a statement from Facebook given to NPR.
“We have to love our freedom more than we fear a bacterium,” Kennedy said, referring to the coronavirus.
“Even if this was the deadly disease, as they say it is, there are worse things than death,” he continued.
Carlson, who would not say whether he has been vaccinated against COVID-19 but has not publicly denied it, described Kennedy on Monday as “one of the wisest and most articulate chroniclers of the erosion of our civil liberties in this country.”
“This is an exhaustively reported book that I can not recommend highly enough,” Carlson said of Kennedy’s book.
More than 5 million people have died from COVID-19 worldwide. The U.S. death toll peaked at 755,000 this month, according to the World Health Organization tracker.
While Kennedy made more subjective claims about whether religious institutions should have been closed, while stores like liquor stores were considered essential by many states, his general arguments came down to the fact that coronavirus was less deadly than the global scientific consensus.
COVID-19 vaccines have also not led to thousands of deaths, as Kennedy claimed, according to the CDC’s study of possible causal links from post-vaccination deaths.
Kennedy made allusions or outright allegations about a number of false conspiracy theories in the interview, such as that the United States uses vaccines to monitor – or “track and track” – its population. COVID-19 vaccines do not contain microchips or other tracking devices. All three COVID-19 shots available in the United States – from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – have passed the Food and Drug Administration’s strict safety criteria for emergency authorization. The FDA has also fully approved Pfizer’s shot for general use by all adults.
Later in the interview, Kennedy also called the polio vaccine “a deficient vaccine” – a scientifically unfounded theory. The vaccine eradicated polio from the United States in 1979 and from the Western Hemisphere in 1994.
Fox News did not respond to Insider’s request for comment on Kennedy’s appearance on Carlson’s show.