Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Anti-Vax Group Is Behind Lawsuit Targeting University Mandate

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A nonprofit group based by outstanding anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is suing Rutgers College over its COVID-19 vaccine mandate. 

Kids’s Well being Protection filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of 18 Rutgers college students. The plaintiffs argue that the college’s coverage, which requires all college students to be totally vaccinated for the autumn semester, is illegitimate and “​​an affront to human dignity and private freedom as a result of it violates our primary proper to regulate our our bodies.“

It seems unlikely that the authorized problem will show profitable. Final week, the U.S. Supreme Courtroom declined to take up an analogous problem that eight college students introduced in opposition to Indiana College’s vaccine mandate.

There may be arguably nobody who has carried out extra to unfold COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and hesitancy than Kennedy Jr., the son of former presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and an environmental lawyer. He has peddled numerous debunked conspiracies about all types of vaccines, together with that they trigger autism.

In February, Instagram completely banned him for spreading misinformation concerning the security of COVID-19 vaccines.

Regardless of its marketing campaign to persuade People to not get a probably life-saving shot, Kids’s Well being Protection touts itself as being “dedicated to the well being of individuals and our planet.” The group’s web site is stuffed with coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories, and goes as far as to evaluate vaccine mandates to racial segregation

Kids’s Well being Protection and one different group accounted for greater than half of all anti-vaccine promoting on Fb, based on a paper printed in January 2020.  Media Bias/Reality Examine, a fact-checking web site, labels the group a “sturdy conspiracy and quackery stage advocacy group.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (center) speaks at a rally against COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin in August 2020. 



Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (middle) speaks at a rally in opposition to COVID-19 restrictions in Berlin in August 2020. 

There may be, after all, irony within the group advocating for “well being freedom” and private alternative whereas making an attempt to regulate how colleges conduct enterprise. Because the surge within the delta variant of the coronavirus makes clear, the private decisions of some People have prevented the nation from halting the unfold of COVID-19 and returning to the freedoms that include life outdoors a raging, lethal pandemic.

Rutgers, the state college of New Jersey with 71,000 college students throughout its campuses, introduced its vaccine requirement in March for all fall in-person studying. It does permit college students to request exemptions for medical or spiritual causes. Dozens of different non-public and public schools and universities have applied such mandates with a view to shield the well being and security of scholars and workers as they try to resume extra regular operations. 

A Rutgers spokesperson mentioned “the college’s place on vaccines is in step with the authorized authority supporting this coverage.”

“We’re dedicated to making a protected campus setting in fall 2021, and to assist the well being and security for all members of the Rutgers neighborhood, the college up to date its present immunization necessities for college kids to incorporate the COVID-19 vaccine,” the spokesperson mentioned in an electronic mail. 

Kennedy Jr.’s many critics embrace a number of members of his circle of relatives. In an opinion piece in The New York Occasions final yr, Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, a niece and an inside drugs resident at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Middle, spoke out in opposition to her uncle and his anti-vaccine campaign. 

“His concern — {that a} Covid vaccine is probably unsafe, and hasn’t been correctly examined — is widespread, and dangerously mistaken,” Meltzer wrote.



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