RFK Jr zings Krystal Ball for ‘parroting’ a narrative in dust-up over vaccines

Liberal commentator Krystal Ball and Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. got into a bit of a back-and-forth on Thursday over vaccines, which is something that Kennedy is no major fan of.

The exchange occurred during an episode of the “Breaking Points” podcast, which is hosted by Ball, a liberal, and Saagar Enjeti, a conservative.

The relevant part of the episode began with Ball noting her discomfort with Kennedy’s vaccine views.


“I think you’re a very genuine person, but the across-the-board, whether you want to call it vaccine skepticism or anti-vax advocacy, which has been a central part of what you’ve been up to for the past number of years, for me personally, it’s an issue,” Ball said.

“And I know I’m not alone in that, especially running in a Democrat primary. They’re going to be other millions of people like me who have similar concerns. So how do you win them over — what’s your message to people who think like I do,” she added.

Kennedy replied by asking her to specify where he got it wrong.

“Well, I think you get it wrong when you draw a correlation between the rise of things like autism and the introduction of vaccines when there isn’t hard scientific evidence tying those things together,” she replied.

This time Kennedy asked her how she knows there’s no hard scientific evidence to back up his theories. She replied by noting that a major study he often cites to back up his theory was retracted.

“I’ve listened to hours of interviews with you with an open mind, and I’m not persuaded. … You have a lot of people who feel even more strongly than me who think that, you know, Dr. Fauci is a hero in all of these things. How are you going to persuade them? How are you going to reach them? And what is your message to them?” she continued.

This time Kennedy replied by citing all the books he’s written.

“First of all, I’m not leading with, you know, my opinions about vaccines. What I say to people is show me where I got it wrong, show me that where I got my science wrong,” he said.

“I’ve written books about this. I wrote a book about a link between [inaudible] and autism that has, I think, 450 distilled scientific studies that confirm and validate that hypothesis, and 1400 references. And if I got something wrong, show me where it is,”  he added.

Ball replied by arguing that plenty of others have shown him where he’s wrong, but that he’s ignored their otherwise legitimate fact-checks: “I don’t think that it’s fair to say nobody has ever pointed out anything that’s all wrong,” she maintained.

Kennedy responded by pointing to all the credentialed scientists who work for him.

“We have probably the most robust fact-checking operation now in North America. I have 350 Ph.D. scientists and MD physicians on CHD’s advisory board, including until recently Luke Montenegro, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV,” he said.

“And if I were saying things that were scientifically unsound, those people would not stay with us,” he added.

CHD is short for Children’s Health Defense, RFK’s non-profit.

Moving along, Ball then asked him how his views on the vaccine might affect the way he governs.

“In the last pandemic, former President Trump … launched Operation Warp Speed. They had a whole-of-government approach. They used the MRNA technology that was developed using, you know, U.S. taxpayer dollars to get a vaccine out to the population as quickly as possible. How would your approach have differed?’ she asked.

“My approach would have been a science-based approach,” Kennedy replied, prompting Ball to ask him whether that would include vaccines.

“Well, you know, I don’t think the vaccine worked. I think, you know, if you think it worked, then try to explain to me why the countries that were unvaccinated did much better than ours,” he continued.

Ball replied by claiming different factors like America’s obesity rate may explain this discrepancy.

“But I will say, did the vaccines work in the way they were initially promised to prevent spread? No, I don’t think so, especially once you got to later variants. But we have a lot of data that shows that in terms of reducing severe hospitalization and death, the vaccines were really important,” she added.

But Kennedy wasn’t convinced.

“What I believe you’re doing now is you’re parroting what the public health agencies have been saying, but they do not have a scientific basis for that,” he replied.

Vivek Saxena


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