Blake Fleetwood, a writer who calls Mr. Kennedy “an inspiration” and has been a friend and skiing mate since 1971, said he cannot understand why Mr. Kennedy would risk “his whole life” as an activist by “embracing this crusade “. ”
“Why is he screwing up his whole life’s work?” he asked.
Mr Kennedy, 68, began protesting vaccines well before the arrival of the coronavirus, claiming they cause autism – a notion strongly rejected by medical experts. But the tenor of his attacks intensified with the arrival of Covid vaccinations, bringing to scrutiny not only Mr Kennedy’s positions on vaccines but other unorthodox causes to which he has drawn himself over the years.
Mr. Kennedy now says Sirhan B. Sirhan did not kill Mr. Kennedy’s father and urged the California parole officers to free him. He has reiterated a popular conspiracy theory that high-speed 5G cell towers are being installed across the country “to collect our data and control our behavior.”
In a new bestseller, he claimed that Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, and Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, are in cahoots with the pharmaceutical industry to monetize dangerous vaccines.
He has built a significant following on social media, where he often spreads false information about the coronavirus and vaccines. Last year he was banned from Instagram, where he had 800,000 followers, for spreading misinformation about his attacks on the vaccine. His Facebook page with more than 300,000 followers remains online, as does his Twitter account with over 405,000 followers.
Mr. Kennedy declined a request for an interview, saying he was engaged in a vaccine harm lawsuit in Jackson, Tennessee. He also said he thinks the New York Times did not fairly express his concerns about the vaccine and ignored his book on Dr. Fauci, despite its brisk sales. But he responded to some questions via email and said he was drawn into the issue when the mother of a child with autism brought stacks of studies claiming to show a link between vaccines and the condition to his Cape Cod home and stayed there until he checked them out.