A Kennedy Commission on Vaccine Safety?

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., the vaccine skeptic who President Trump has put in charge of a ‘vaccine safety and scientific integrity,’ says the president told him he was ‘not going to back down’ on the issue.

Kennedy and Trump have raised suspicions about vaccines despite their overwhelming support among scientists and physicians as a way to prevent the spread of deadly diseases.

Kennedy says Trump told him that his own beliefs about a supposed link between vaccines and autism, which is not backed up by the vast majority of scientists, was shaped by his anecdotal observations of five friends of his.

Trump told Kennedy the children of the five friends ‘changed’ after getting vaccines, and the president ‘said he wanted to make sure we had the safest vaccines and a regulatory process with integrity,’ Politico reported.

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Trump also girded Kennedy for pushback.

 ‘The president told me, ‘I know the pharma industry is going to cause an uproar about this, and try to make me back down, and I’m not going to back down,’ Kennedy said at a press event in Washington. ‘They tried during the campaign and I didn’t back down and I’m not going to back down.”

Kennedy said the commission would be made up of ‘Americans of the highest integrity’ such as CEOs and ‘doctors on television.’

Trump spoke about the supposed vaccine and autism link on the campaign trail, and spoke briefly about autism during a meeting with Education Secretary Betsy deVos this week after a special ed teacher raised the issue.

‘Have you seen a big increase in the autism,’ Trump asked her.

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