Fauci on RFK Jr.: ‘I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but it’s not good’

July 2, 2024

Former White House COVID-19 response lead Dr. Anthony Fauci went after independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Monday, recalling a prior meeting where Kennedy railed against vaccines.

Kennedy, an anti-vaccine activist, has long pushed the disproven theory that vaccines are connected to autism and cause some diseases. Fauci shared in a podcast interview with CNN’s David Axelrod about when the pair met to discuss vaccines in the early Trump administration.

Kennedy was giving a presentation to Fauci, lobbying to be named the head of a White House commission investigating vaccine safety.

“The first slide I remember he showed is that ‘It has been shown that vaccinations are responsible for the following diseases,’ and he gave every disease in the world,” Fauci said. “For the next 40 minutes or so, he showed slide after slide after slide that day that make no sense at all.”

Fauci recalled tracking down Kennedy after the meeting and attempting to talk some sense into him.

“We were walking out of the room at the [National Institutes of Health], I went over to and I said, ‘Bobby, I believe you care about children, and you care that you don’t want to hurt them,” Fauci said. “‘But you got to realize that from a scientific standpoint, what you’re saying does make no sense.’”

Kennedy went on to write a book about Fauci in 2021, “The Real Anthony Fauci,” which attacks Fauci for his leadership of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and his work leading the country’s early COVID response. Fauci said the book claims he was “responsible for killing so many people with vaccines.” 

“I don’t know what’s going on in his head, but it’s not good,” Fauci said of Kennedy.

Kennedy is the country’s most prominent anti-vaccine activist, and he has criticized both President Biden and former President Trump for their response to the COVID pandemic and advocacy for the COVID vaccine.

His outsider presidential campaign has attracted a unique coalition of disgruntled voters from both parties, and his supporters could play spoilers in the November election.

Kennedy has 8.1 percent support nationally, according to The Hill/Decision Desk HQ average of polls. Trump leads Biden by 2.1 percentage points, on average, when Kennedy is included in the race.