[1/10/17] President-elect Donald Trump has tapped a Kennedy – and a vaccine skeptic – to run a new commission on the safety of vaccines.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed his new role after a meeting at Trump Tower on Tuesday.
He said Trump had asked him to head a commission on ‘vaccine safety and scientific integrity’ and that he had agreed to do so.
Both Trump and Kennedy have have raised suspicions about vaccines despite their overwhelming support among scientists and physicians as a way to prevent the spread of deadly diseases that can infect infants and other children when the pool of protected people is diminished.
Kennedy said the purpose would be ‘to make sure we have scientific integrity in the vaccine process for efficacy and safety effects.’
The vaccine skeptic is the most prominent Democrat to accept an assignment from President-elect Trump.
‘President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it,’ Kennedy told reporters Tuesday
‘His opinion doesn’t matter but the science does matter and we ought to be reading the science and we ought to be debating the science,’ Kennedy added.
‘And that everybody ought to be able to be assured that the vaccines that we have – he’s very pro-vaccine, as am I – but they’re as safe as they possibly can be.’
Kennedy last year said vaccines were causing a ‘holocaust’ among children – he later apologized for using the loaded term.
Kennedy’s appointment marries vaccine skeptics on the left and right, notwithstanding the widespread scientific consensus on the benefit of vaccine use on a population.