Robert Kennedy Jr., an outspoken opponent of vaccinations for children, apologized Monday for cavalierly using Holocaust imagery when he spoke of mandatory vaccines.
Confronted by the Anti-Defamation League, which called his remarks “inappropriate and insensitive,” Kennedy said, “I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word ‘holocaust’ to describe the autism epidemic.”
The Sacramento Bee quoted Kennedy’s April 7 remarks at a screening of an anti-vaccination film titled Trace Amounts. He said, “They get the shot, that night they have a fever of 103, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone. This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.” He also warned of public health officials: “They can put anything they want in that vaccine and they have no accountability for it.”
Deborah Lauter, the ADL’s director of civil rights, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “We object to Robert Kennedy Jr.’s insensitive and inappropriate comment that vaccinating children in the U.S. constitutes a ‘Holocaust.’ Six million Jews and countless others were systematically slaughtered by the Nazis under Hitler. Such inappropriate analogies only serve to trivialize the Holocaust and are deeply offensive to Jews and other survivors, as well as those Americans who fought valiantly against the Nazis in World War II.” She added that the ADL would prefer for Kennedy “to refrain from using Holocaust imagery to make his points.”
“Trace Amounts” tells the story of Eric Gladen, an engineer who claims he developed major neurological symptoms after being vaccinated at age 29 because the vaccine contained thimerosal, a preservative.
California’s lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 277, which would terminate the personal belief exemption parents use to avoid vaccinating their children.
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