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“I love my uncle. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong,” Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer writes about her uncle Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

By Sean Neumann
December 30, 2020 11:23 AM
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Robert Kennedy Jr.
Robert Kennedy Jr.
| Credit: Evan Vucci/AP/Shutterstock

Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter is speaking out against her uncle, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and his controversial stance on COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I love my uncle. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong,” Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer, a granddaughter of the late RFK, writes in a New York Times op-ed published on Wednesday.

The Kennedy family has long spoken out against Kennedy Jr., 66, over his anti-vaccination beliefs. Last year, three members of the famed American political dynasty wrote an op-ed in Politico denouncing Kennedy Jr., the famed senator's second-oldest son, for pushing anti-vaccination theories online.

However, amid the long-awaited rollout of multiple novel coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccinations this month, the Kennedy family is again pushing back against their uncle’s anti-science opinions.

“His concern — that the Covid vaccine is potentially unsafe, and hasn’t been properly tested — is widespread, and dangerously wrong,” Meltzer, an internal medicine resident physician at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, writes in the recent retort to her uncle.

Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer
Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer
| Credit: Mike Pont/Getty
Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer
Dr. Kerry Kennedy Meltzer
| Credit: Bennett Raglin/Getty

Meltzer says her uncle has shared ‘dubious’ information on Facebook, which pushes false narratives about COVID-19 vaccines, reaching a wide audience with thousands of reactions and hundreds of comments.

At the same time, the Kennedy granddaughter says she and colleagues at her New York hospital are welcoming the “historic” rollout aimed at saving lives.

Her own social media feed, the physician writes, is “filled with pictures of friends and colleagues, sleeves rolled up, writing about how much this vaccination means to them.”

"It’s hard to express how momentous it felt to receive the Covid vaccine," Meltzer adds, recalling the spring "when my hospital system had among the highest number of intubated patients of any health care center in the country."

At least 338,769 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19, according to the latest Timestracker data on Wednesday, while at least 19.5 million across the country have contracted the novel coronavirus.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, have each received the vaccine publicly this month.

At the same time, former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter have all said they plan to take the vaccine once it's distributed widespread to the public.

“As a doctor, and as a member of the Kennedy family, I feel I must use whatever small platform I have to state a few things unequivocally,” Meltzer writes. “I love my uncle Bobby. I admire him for many reasons, chief among them his decades-long fight for a cleaner environment. But when it comes to vaccines, he is wrong.”

Other members of the Kennedy family spoke out in support of Meltzer's op-ed on Wednesday.

Mariah Kennedy Cuomo, the daughter of Kerry Kennedy and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, said she was "so proud" of her cousin and called the op-ed "life-saving."

Mariah's mother Kerry, the president of the RFK Human Rights organization and daughter of the late American figure, tweeted that her niece’s op-ed was “excellent."

“Get your vaccine,” Kerry, 61, added. “For yourself, your family, your friends, and your country.”

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