April 6, 2023
Environmental lawyer and vocal anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to enter the 2024 presidential race as a Democrat, CNN reports. His campaign treasurer, John E. Sullivan, confirmed the filing Wednesday. Kennedy will make an official statement regarding his candidacy on April 19 in Boston, his campaign office said. Kennedy first expressed interest in a presidential run last month on Twitter. "If it looks like I can raise the money and mobilize enough people to win, I'll jump in the race," he said. If he runs, his priority would be to "end the corrupt merger between state and corporate power," which he claims has ruined the economy, middle class, and landscapes. Kennedy is "the son of former New York senator, U.S. attorney general, and assassinated 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy," CNN explains, "and the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy." Should he follow through with his bid, he "would be the latest in a long line of family members to enter politics." Kennedy also has a long history of vaccine skepticism, CNN says. He has been known to promote misinformation about links between vaccines and autism, as well as since-debunked claims about the COVID-19 vaccine, the latter of which earned him an Instagram ban. He also founded the anti-vaccine organization, Children's Health Defense. In 2019, three of his relatives denounced his anti-vaccine views in a Politico Magazine op-ed, arguing that he was "part of a misinformation campaign that's having heartbreaking — and deadly — consequences." Kennedy is "the second Democrat to launch a long-shot bid ahead of President Biden's expected announcement of another presidential run," says The Washington Post — author and "self-help guru" Marianne Williamson launched a campaign for the Democratic nomination last month.
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