Now that Barack Obama has won the presidential election, the lunacy of campaigning is over, but the lunacy of building a new administration has begun. Rumors about who will serve in the new Cabinet have popped up. Among those is a Politico report that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. may be appointed the new chief of the EPA.
It makes political sense for Obama to make this appointment … the Kennedys were instrumental in helping Obama win the primary over Hillary Clinton. Naturally a Kennedy or two is going to get a prime position in the Obama White House.
But despite this, appointing RFK Jr to this position would be horrific for science. Skeptical blogs are letting the world know that RFK Jr is an anti-scientific nut; specifically he wants to ban vaccines for childhood illnesses, claiming they cause autism. His campaign against vaccines includes factually untrue claims, including one mentioned by the Science-Based Medicine blog:
Note one particularly outrageous example of confusing correlation with causation as RFK, Jr. points out that thimerosal first started to be used in vaccines in the 1930s and “almost immediately” the syndrome of autism was noticed. Of course, autism was first described as a syndrome in 1943 by Leo Kanner; before that there was no condition generally recognized as autism; so this observation is completely spurious …
It is literally not possible, therefore, for there to have been a sudden spike in autism in the 30s. RFK Jr, therefore, is telling a factual lie.
I remarked previously on the religiosity of Obama’s followers. I hope they are willing to look at an RFK Jr appointment critically and demand better of their sacred prophet as he steps into the Oval Office. But I’m none too hopeful about that … especially given how revered the Kennedys are by the Left, and how much Obama owes them for his election.