Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Bobby Kennedy, has been banned from Instagram for promoting false claims about the COVID-19 vaccine. The outspoken anti-vaxxer recently claimed that MLB legend Hank Aaron died after being vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” a spokesperson for Instagram said in a statement. Despite being banned by Instagram, Kennedy’s Facebook page and Twitter account, where he has shared similar claims, remain active.
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On January 22, Kennedy tweeted, “#HankAaron’s tragic death is part of a wave of suspicious deaths among elderly closely following administration of #COVID #vaccines. He received the #Moderna vaccine on Jan. 5 to inspire other Black Americans to get the vaccine. #TheDefender.”
Medical experts disputed Kennedy’s claims, saying Aaron, who had urged others to get vaccinated, died of natural causes. “I was proud to get the COVID-19 vaccine earlier today at Morehouse School of Medicine. I hope you do the same!” Aaron said via social media.
Aaron was vaccinated against COVID-19 in Georgia on January 5. At the time, he told the Associated Press, “I don’t have any qualms about it at all, you know. I feel quite proud of myself for doing something like this. … It’s just a small thing that can help zillions of people in this country.”
Kennedy, the chairman of Children’s Health Defense, an anti-vaccine advocacy group, is an anti-vaccine activist and conspiracy theorist who promotes the scientifically debunked link between vaccines and autism. A professor emeritus at Pace University, Kennedy, 67, is the third of eleven children of Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Kennedy.
On May 8, 2019, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy and Maeve Kennedy McKean wrote an open letter stating that Kennedy “has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.” On December 30, 2020, his niece Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, a physician, issued a similar open letter, arguing that her uncle had spread misinformation about the side effects of the new COVID-19 vaccines.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
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