Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Faces Backlash Over Party Invite Asking Guests to Be Vaccinated

Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense is one of the most widely viewed anti-vaxx websites in the world

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of America’s most avid COVID conspiracy theorists, swears the party was for Hollywood celebrity friends and fellow cast members of his wife, Cheryl Hines, star of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” The 67-year-old Kennedy said he was unaware of what the e-vite invitation said before the day of the party. “I guess I’m not always the boss at my own house,” he told POLITICO’s Daniel Lippmann. 

In a plot twist seemingly plucked from the mind of Larry David, what the e-vite said was that anyone planning to attend the festivities inside the couple’s California home should arrive vaccinated and tested ahead of time. This, from a man who is building a media juggernaut by appealing to fears about the COVID vaccine. Days earlier, Kennedy proclaimed before a Louisiana legislature divided over the issue of vaccine mandates that the COVID vaccine was “the deadliest vaccine ever made.”

For years, Kennedy has lent his celebrated family name to sow doubt about the safety of vaccines, especially for children. The flap about requiring vaccines for a party at his house comes just days after the AP reported that Children’s Health Defense, the anti-vaxx group that Kennedy founded in 2016 had more than doubled its revenue in 2020, raking in $6.8 million during the first year of COVID. With more revenue, Children’s Health Defense expanded the reach of its newsletter, launched an internet TV channel and started a movie studio. “In addition to opening new U.S branches, it now boasts outposts in Canada, Europe and Australia and is translating articles into French, German, Italian and Spanish,” the AP reports.

In an interview with POLITICO, Kennedy said that none of his holiday party guests was asked to show proof of vaccination. Hines has yet to comment.

In October, the California chapter of the Children’s Health Defense sued the Los Angeles Unified School District, alleging the school district crossed a line by requiring students over the age of 12 to be fully vaccinated. 

Fellow Kennedys–Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy II and Maeve Kennedy McKean–previously repudiated the anti-vaxx crusade of Robert Jr. in an op-ed for POLITICO as “a misinformation campaign that’s having heartbreaking — and deadly — consequences.”

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