RFK Jr.: Interview excerpt of him saying there is ‘no vaccine that is safe and effective’ is ‘misused’ 

April 27, 2024

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said an interview excerpt of him saying there is “no vaccine that is safe and effective” has been “misused” Friday.

“I made that statement on Lex Fridman[’s] podcast,” Kennedy said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” Friday. 

“Yes,” host Maher responded.

“And, it was an answer to a question that Lex had asked me about, ‘Are there any vaccines’ — and if you go back and look at this, ‘cause that statement has been misused, I would never say that,” Kennedy continued. “What I said was, he asked me ‘Are there any vaccines that are safe and effective?’ And I said, ‘It appears like some of the live virus vaccines, appear to be both safe and effective.’”

“And then I said, ‘There’s no vaccines that are safe and effective,’ and I was gonna continue that sentence, ‘If you ask for the product to be measured against other medical products with placebo-controlled double-blind studies.’ Lex interrupted me.”

In an episode of Fridman’s podcast from July 2023, Kennedy said that “some of the live virus vaccines are probably averting more problems than they’re causing,” when asked if he can “name any vaccines that” he thinks “are good.”

“There’s no vaccine that is safe and effective,” Kennedy continued, before Fridman started speaking again.

Kennedy has faced criticism in the past for his anti-vaccine activism, including from members of his own family. His niece, Maeve Kennedy McKean, and siblings former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (D) and former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II (D-Mass.) said in a Politico column that his anti-vaccination work is “wrong” and “dangerous” in a Politico column from 2019.

“The challenge for public health officials right now is that many people are more afraid of the vaccines than the diseases, because they’ve been lucky enough to have never seen the diseases and their devastating impact,” the three wrote.

“But that’s not luck; it’s the result of concerted vaccination efforts over many years. We don’t need measles outbreaks to remind us of the value of vaccination.”

Kennedy told Maher during the Friday night appearance he is not “anti-vaccine,” but that the label is a “way of silencing” him.

“I’m called that because it’s a way of silencing me, but I have said for 17 years, I’m not anti-vaccine. I just want good science. People should be able to make informed choices,” Kennedy said.

“I am against vaccine mandates,” Kennedy added.