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Editor’s Note: This transcript presents the bulk of the historic one-plus hour debate beween Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., and Alan Dershowitz on Vaccine Safety. The text has been minimally edited to enhance readability.
Historic Vaccine Debate
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. vs Alan Dershowitz
Moderated by Patrick Bet-David, Valutainment, 23 July 2020

1:18:09, mp3
Patrick Bet-David: There will soon be a new vaccine for the coronavirus pandemic. The question is are these vaccines safe and can the government force you to take them?
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.: 1 in 40 people get seriously injured by vaccines. It’s not hypothetical.
Alan Dershowitz: If you’re right, why wouldn’t it follow that the flu shot should be illegal.
RFK: CDC is a vaccine company. They are not doing their job as regulators.
AD: We don’t know what covid 19 vaccine will look like.
RFK: Anthony Fauci put 500 million of our dollars into that vaccine and now they’ve got a vaccine that is too big to fail.
AD: Would you urge the American people not to take the vaccine?
RFK: I’m not anti-vaccine.
AD: I’m asking you the question: What if it was one in a thousand?
RFK: No. Of course not. I’m not gonna tell one in a thousand people to die.
AD: I think you overstate it.
RFK: Look at the vaccine insets Alan
AD: Masks work?
RFK: We’re gonna kill all these people.
AD: Mandatory vaccination
RFK: We’re still gonna make a profit so let’s go ahead.
AD: Certainly anybody who runs a pharmaceutical company cares deeply about not killing people
RFK: You can’t sue them. There’s no discovery. There’s nothing. They never get caught.
AD: Do you wear masks personally?
RFK: The flu shot not only primes you for flu. It primes you for coronavirus. They are unavoidably unsafe.

RFK: The question is why can’t we do a voluntary [vaccination] program. When Alan and I were kids people wanted to get vaccinated. There was no fear of the statements of polio vaccines and people had a tremendous trust in our health regulatory officials. Today that trust has evaporated to the extent where now 50 percent of the people who are polled in this country are saying they may not take the covid vaccine and 27 percent are hard No. This is even before the vaccine is developed. Why is that happening? That’s the question I think we really have to ask ourselves: Why do so many Americans no longer trust our regulatory officials and trust this process.

One of the reasons is vaccines are very very interesting and a very different kind of medical prerogative because it’s a remedy that is being—it’s a medical intervention that is being given to perfectly healthy people to prevent somebody else from getting sick. It’s the only medicine that’s given to healthy people. So you would want—and particularly to children who have a whole lifetime in front of them—you would expect that we would want that particular intervention to have particularly rigorous guarantees that it’s safe because you’re saying to somebody, We are going to make you make this sacrifice for the greater good. You have no health problems. You have zero risk of this disease. We are going to force you to undergo a medical intervention. And our side of the bargain should be we want this to be completely safe.

In fact what we know about vaccines, and this is from HHS’s own studies, a 2010 study by the Agency for Healthcare Research that was commissioned to look at vaccine injury because CDC for many years had been saying vaccine injury only occurs one in a million. But what AHRQ found with the federal agency, they looked at one HMO which was a Harvard Pilgrim HMO and they did a machine cluster analysis—in other words artificial intelligence counting, a very, very accurate counting system. They said the actual rate of vaccine injury is 2.6 percent. That means 1 in 40 people get seriously injured by vaccines.

Do we have a right to say we are going to impose this intervention on people where there’s a 1 in 40 chance that you may get injured in order to protect hypothetical people catching that particular disease? And this I think is something that Alan really has to—I think Alan that you need to come to terms with in terms of crafting your own arguments about this. It’s not hypothetical that vaccines cause injury and that injuries are not rare. The vaccine courts have paid out four billion dollars. The threshold for getting back into a vaccine court and getting a judgment, HHS admits that fewer than one percent of people who are injured ever even get to court.

The other thing is vaccines are zero liability. This is an industry that went to Congress in 1986 and they had a diphtheria tetanus pertussis vaccine at that time that was causing brain injury in 1 out of every 300 people. They said to Congress we cannot make vaccines safely. They are “unavoidably unsafe”, that is the phrase in the statute unavoidably unsafe. The only reason that we’re going to continue to make vaccines is if you give us complete blanket immunity from liability. And Congress gave it to them.

So today you have a product that if it injured you, no matter how negligent the company was, no matter how sloppy the line protocols, no matter how toxic the ingredients that they choose to use, no matter how grievous your injury, you cannot sue that company and that company therefore has no incentive to make that product safe. That should be troubling to any of us who are part of the legal system that is saying we are going to force people to take this intervention.

This is a rather esoteric discussion and one that I’m not gonna really drag you into other than to say this. The proposition and the theology that smallpox and polio were abolished due to vaccination is controversial. That is not a proposition that is universally accepted. If you notice, all the infectious diseases whether it was scurvy or tuberculosis for which there were no vaccines—along with puerperal fever and diphtheria and pertussis and measles—all disappeared at the same time without vaccination.

Now CDC actually examined that because it became such a part of the orthodoxy of vaccines, the idea that smallpox and polio were abolished because of vaccines and these other diseases. John Hopkins and CDC in 2000 did a comprehensive study of that proposition. The study was published in Pediatrics [Guyer B, Freedman MA, Strobino DM, Sondik EJ. Annual summary of vital statistics: trends in the health of Americans during the 20th century. Pediatrics. 2000 Dec;106(6) 1307-1317. doi:10.1542/peds.106.6.1307. PMID: 11099582.] which is the Journal for the American Association of Pediatrics which is kind of a readout fortification for vaccine orthodoxy. It’s a publication very very friendly in support of vaccination....

The conclusion of that study is that the abolishment of mortalities from infectious diseases that took place during the first half of the 20th century had virtually nothing to do with vaccines. It had everything to do with sanitation, with nutrition, with hygiene, with electric refrigerators, with reduction in population densities, essentially an engineering solution: clean water, good food. And actually there was a guy called Dr. Edward Kass who was head of Harvard Medical School at that time who gave a very very famous speech in which he warned that people who were promoting vaccines and other technologies would try to take credit for those reductions in mortalities from infectious disease and he said beware of them because they’ll try to monetize them and use that to increase their power and their prestige....

Edward H. Kass, “Infectious Disease and Social Change,” The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 123, No. 1 (Jan., 1971), pp. 110-114
“This decline in rates of certain disorders, correlated roughly with socioeconomic circumstances, is merely the most important happening in the history of the health of man, yet we have only the vaguest and most general notions about how it happened and by what mechanisms socioeconomic improvement and decreased rates of certain diseases run in parallel.” (p.111)
See Also: Did vaccines really save the world?, J.B. Handley, 19 Jun 2020.

I agree with you there was tremendous faith in vaccination during that period. When you grew up, I grew up, Alan we had three vaccines and all of them were deemed as necessary, there were fewer diseases. Today’s kids have to take 72 doses of 16 vaccines in order to stay in school. That explosion of new vaccination came in 1989 after the [1986] passage of VICA [Vaccine Injury Compensation Act]. The Vaccine Act gave blanket immunity from liability to vaccine companies. Those companies all of a sudden looked around and they said holy cow now we’ve got a product where we are completely excused from the highest cost that afflicts every other medical product which is the downstream liability for injuries. That’s the biggest cost for every medicine.

Not only that, vaccines have another exemption that most people don’t know about. They are the only medical product that do not have to be safety tested against a placebo. That exemption is an artifact of CDC’s legacy as a public health service which was a quasi-military agency which is why people at CDC have military ranks like surgeon general and they wear uniforms. The vaccine program was conceived as a national security defense against biological attacks on our country. They wanted to make sure that if the Russians attacked us with a biological agent, anthrax or something like that, we could quickly formulate a vaccine and deploy it to 200 million American civilians without regulatory impediments. They said if we call it a medicine we’re going to have to test it and that takes five years to do double-blind placebo testing. So let’s call it something else. We’ll call it a biologic and we’ll exempt biologics from safety testing.

Not a single one of the vaccines—the 72 vaccines now administered to our children—have ever been tested against a placebo. I sued HHS in 2016 and said Show me any placebo studies that you have for any vaccines and they were unable to do so. None of them have been tested. You don’t have to sue them like I did. Anybody can go on their cell phone and look up Manufacturers Insert, Hepatitis B vaccine, Gardasil vaccine, Polio vaccine. Do you know how many days the current polio vaccine was safety tested for Alan? 48 hours.

The Hepatitis B vaccine, the Glaxo version was four days.

The Merck version five days.

That means that if the baby they gave that to had a seizure on day six it never happened. If the baby died on day six it never happened. If the baby got food allergies that were diagnosed two years later it never happened. If the baby got autism which is not diagnosed till four years of age—4.2 years of age—it never happened.

Autoimmune diseases: you cannot see those if you have short-term studies and you can’t see any risk if you don’t test against the placebo. Because of that, nobody knows risk profiles for any vaccine that is currently on the schedule. And that means nobody can say with any scientific certainty that that vaccine is averting more injuries and deaths than it’s causing.

My question is How in the heck can we be mandating to children that they take a medical product for which we do not know the risks? To me that is criminal. We started this discussion by talking about how do you avoid the whole discussion about mandating vaccines? The way that you do that is you have a transparent process where people see that the vaccine is going to be tested, they see that it’s tested fairly against a placebo, that there’s long-term tests that are going to be able to spot all of these difficulties and that it’s transparent and open.

Yet what we’ve seen from the current group of Covid vaccines is none of that’s happening. They’re skipping key parts of the test. The Moderna vaccine, which is the lead candidate, skipped the animal testing altogether. When they came to human testing they tested it on 45 people. They had a high-dose group of 15 people, a medium-dose group of 15 people, and a low-dose group of 15 people. In the low dose group one of the people got so sick from the vaccine they had to be hospitalized. That’s six percent. In the high dose group three people got so sick they had to be hospitalized. That’s twenty percent. They’re going ahead and making two billion doses of that vaccine.

And by the way, people that they test them on Alan are not typical Americans. They use what they call exclusionary criteria. They are only giving these vaccines, in these tests that they’re doing, to the healthiest people. If you look at their exclusionary criteria: you cannot be pregnant, you cannot be overweight, you must have never smoked a cigarette, you must have never vaped, you must have no respiratory problems in your family. You can’t suffer asthma, you can’t have diabetes, you can’t have rheumatoid arthritis or any autoimmune disease. There has to be no history of seizure in your family. These are the people they’re testing the vaccine on. But that’s not who they’re going to give them to. These people are like the Avengers. They’re like superman. You can shoot them with a bullet and they won’t go down. But what happens when they give them to the typical American, Sally six-pack and Joe bag-of-donuts who’s 50 pounds overweight and has diabetes? What is is going to happen then?

You’re not going to see 20 percent. You’re going to see a lot of people dropping dead. These people lost consciousness, they had to go to hospital they had huge fevers. And they’re the healthiest people in the world. Any other medicine Alan, that had that kind of profile in its original Phase One study would be DOA. The problem is Anthony Fauci put 500 million dollars—of our dollars—into that vaccine. He owns half the patent. He has five guys working for him, We’re entitled to collect royalties from that. So you have a corrupt system and now they’ve got a vaccine that is too big to fail. Instead of saying Hey this was a terrible terrible mistake. They’re saying we are going to order 2 billion doses of this.

You’ve got to understand Alan, with these Covid vaccines, these companies are playing with house money. They’re not spending anything on it and they have no liability. So if they kill 20 people or 200 people, 2,000 people in their clinical trials, big deal. They have zero liability. And guess what? They’ve wasted money—your money—because we’re giving them the money to play with. People like me and people in our community are looking at this process and we’re saying whatever comes out of that process we don’t want to take it because we’re seeing how the sausage gets made. And it’s really sickening. No medical product in the world would be able to go forward with the profile that Moderna has....
[ends at 39:00]

You raised a bunch of questions. One is, the opiate people got busted Alan—and by the way, no, they were not moral people. They knew what they were doing. They’re killing 56,000 American young kids a year knowing what they were doing. More kids every year than were killed in the 20-year Vietnam War. These are not moral companies and they only got busted because plaintiff’s attorneys could sue them and they got the discovery documents and walked them down to the U.S. Attorney’s office and said, Hey there’s criminal behavior here. That can never happen in the vaccine space. You can’t sue them. There’s no discovery. There’s no depositions. There’s no class action suit. There’s no multi-district litigation. There’s no interrogatories. Nothing. They never get caught.

Now these four companies, that make all of our vaccines, all 72 of the vaccine shots that are now mandated for our children, every one of them is a convicted serial felon: Glaxo, Sanofi, Pfizer, Merck. In the past 10 years—just in the last decade—those companies have paid 35 billion dollars in criminal penalties, damages, and fines for lying to doctors, for defrauding science, for falsifying science, for killing hundreds of thousands of Americans knowingly and getting away with it.

Vioxx, which was Merck’s biggest vaccine, which was their flagship product, was a pill that they marketed as a headache pill, that caused heart attacks. They knew it caused heart attacks because they saw them in the signals in their clinical trials. They didn’t tell the American public and they killed between 120,000 and 500,000 Americans who did not need to die. Most of those Americans were people who had rheumatoid arthritis or they had headaches and migraines. They took that pill believing—and by the way when we sued them we got spreadsheets from their bean counters where they said We’re going to kill all these people, we’re still going to make a profit so let’s go ahead.

AD: Nobody can justify that. I agree with you.

RFK: They ended up, they should have all gone to prison. They paid a seven billion dollar fine. But how can anybody—it requires a cognitive dissonance for people who understand the criminal corporate cultures of these four companies, to believe that they’re doing this in every other product that they have but they’re not doing it with vaccines. They are.

I want to answer your other question. No, placebo testing does not take place after the clinical trials. The reason for that is that HHS has adopted a very unethical guidance that says it is unethical, once a vaccine is license recommended, it is unethical to do placebo trials or compare vaccinated persons to unvaccinated people. There are scientists who do it but they’re punished for it. It’s very difficult for them to publish, they get their their funding cut off because nobody wants any study that is going to reveal the truth about vaccine injuries. So it just does not happen...

AD: ... In the end how do you respond when the American public has listened to you, listened to your argument, they’re very persuasive and they’re very convincing and they have an impact on people like me with open minds. And yet in the end there’s a vote by the legislature and the legislature votes to compel vaccinations in the public interest just the way the legislature votes to draft young people to fight wars in which they will die. In a democracy don’t you have to follow the will of the majority.

I agree, transparency is all important and let’s shift the debate because you said you wanted to answer the question. Let’s take it out of vaccine for one second because I think it helps analytically. I’m a law professor for 50 years, so I always do hypotheticals, hypos. Let’s assume the legislature now passes a law at every 50 states and the United States Congress passes the law requiring everybody to wear a mask when they’re outdoors. And you say, Well I’m not so sure that masks are helpful. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Congress has hearings. Congress makes the determination that on balance they are helpful. Wouldn’t you agree that it would be constitutional—let’s start with constitutional and then desirable—wouldn’t you agree that it would be constitutional to mandate the wearing of masks even if people have political, ideological, medical, religious objections because A, the wearing of the mask is only an inconvenience, maybe it’ll cause a little irritation by some people that will require a topical pharmaceutical and it has the potential not to save the world but to improve the possibility of not having communicable diseases. Wouldn’t you agree that mandatory mask wearing would be constitutional?

RFK: If I accepted all of your precedence, then perhaps I would. The thing is I know a lot about the mask and my organization, CHD, has not taken a position on them. But I have read at least three meta reviews involving hundreds of studies on masks and the majority of the studies—in fact there’s a BMJ study from 2015 [MacIntyre CR, Chughtai AA. Facemasks for the prevention of infection in healthcare and community settings. BMJ. 2015;350:h694. Published 2015 Apr 9. doi:10.1136/bmj.h694], it says that the mask actually is likely to spread the disease and to make you less healthy because of the carbon dioxide that you’re breathing and the people who wear the mask are more likely to get sick. I’m not saying that that’s my position. I’m just saying there’s a lot of contrary science out there.

AD: Do you wear a mask personally when you go out?

RFK: If the science was clear, if the science was clear then I’d be much more sympathetic to your view. Let me ask you this. Let me just answer the other question you had. You said we have to rely on the majority. I grew up in the state of Virginia Alan, and when I grew up it was illegal because, the majority voted, that it was illegal for a black man to marry a white woman.... In a democracy you have the courts there that protect our rights and unfortunately we are in a situation today where we have tremendous corruption, not only in Congress which is receiving, which receives more money from pharmaceutical companies than any other industry. Pharmaceutical gifts in lobbying are twice the amount that Oil and Gas are which is the next big one, four times what Defense and Aerospace are.
There are more lobbyists, pharma lobbyists in Congress, than there are members of Congress and in the Senate. So we have lost the legislative independence of that body. And unfortunately Alan, the Agencies are also captured. You know about agency capture. It happens everywhere and I have sued EPA my entire life. We just sued the EPA, we just sued Monsanto. We got a historic judgement, a 12 billion dollar settlement in the Monsanto case and I was part of that trial team. One of the things that happened during that trial is that EPA took a position against us. They took a position that glyphosate in Roundup does not cause cancer. As it turns out we got an internal memorandum that showed that the head of the pesticide division in EPA was actually working secretly for Monsanto and killing studies and twisting studies and ghost riding studies to falsify the science. We were able to show that to the jury.

Now imagine this. That’s EPA which is an independent agency. Imagine this: FDA gets 50 percent of its budget from vaccine companies, from the industry. 50 percent. The CDC has an $11.5 billion budget and 4.9 billion of that is buying and selling and distributing vaccines. CDC is a vaccine company. It owns 57 vaccine patents so it can make money on every sale of a vaccine. NIH owns hundreds of vaccine patents. NIH owns half the patent for the Moderna vaccine. There’s five individuals in NIH and the rules at NIH is if you’re a scientist or an official who worked on a vaccine, you’re allowed to collect $150,000 a year in royalties on sales that that vaccine makes. These regulatory agencies are actually vaccine companies. The vaccine marketing sales part of those agencies is the tail that is now wagging the regulatory dog.

They are not doing their job as regulators. And in fact the senior scientist at CDC today, the senior vaccine safety scientist, who’s been a senior scientist there for 18 years, he is the author or co-author on all of the major studies that CDC has produced on vaccine safety and particularly the studies that show the vaccine does not cause autism. His name is Dr William Thompson. Three years ago he came forward and he said, We have been ordered to fake all the science of the last decade on autism. And he said in fact, We were in the major study which is called the DeStefano 2004 study, the most cited study on this subject anyone can see it on pubmed. He said in that study we found out that black boys who get the MMR vaccine had a 363 percent greater risk of getting an autism diagnosis than black boys who waited after 36 months. He said he was ordered to come into a conference room with all that data with his four other co-authors by their CDC Boss Frank DeStefano who then ordered them to destroy that data in front of them in CDC headquarters and then published that study saying there is no effect. So you have an agency that is really just an arm of industry.

The people who are in my community who are being derided and vilified, these mothers who have vaccine injured children, are being vilified in the press. Who are saying, Wait a minute, we have read the studies, the scientific studies. We have read about the industry corruption. We need to talk about this. They’re being silenced by the press. They’re not allowed to tell their stories and nobody is talking. Not a single member of Anderson Cooper’s staff or Sanjay Gupta has made any effort to talk to Bill Thompson. And he has been begging to be subpoenaed and he’s still at CDC....
[ends at 54:28]

I’m not anti-vaccine. People call me anti-vaccine because it’s a way of marginalizing me and silencing me.... I’ve been trying to get mercury out of fish for 37 years and nobody calls me anti-fish.... If they come up with a vaccine that does what Bill Gates says it’s going to do, which is you get one shot, you get lifetime immunity and there are vanishingly rare serious injuries—I don’t mind jab sight redness, itching. Forget about it. I don’t care. I’m talking about deaths or brain damage for one in a million, that may be acceptable. In that case, and it works, then I’d say, I’d tell people, Yeah I’m gonna get it, let’s go ahead and get it.

AD: What if it was one in a thousand, not one in a million?

RFK: One in a thousand? No, of course not. I’m not going to tell one in a thousand people to die so that 999 people can avoid covid. Particularly since the case fatality rate for covid—a healthy person has basically zero chance of dying from covid. You need to give it to a tremendous number of people to save one life and the problem with this vaccine is we don’t know if the vaccine is going to kill more people when you start giving it to those people with the comorbidities. 54 percent of Americans now have diabetes, overweight, rheumatoid arthritis—I’m not even talking about smokers and vapers. 54 percent of us has chronic disease. They’re testing it on one group and they’re going to give it to another. We need to know what the risk factor is in the people that they give it to....

Let me complete the thought I was going to make before. I’ve sued the EPA for many years and it’s a captive agency. What would happen if EPA made half of its annual budget selling coal? That’s what you’ve got with these regulatory agencies. They’re completely corrupt.

AD: You’re performing an important function doing this. Let me ask you another question. What if we had a system which said this: you have two choices. One, you can have the vaccine or Two you can refuse to take the vaccine. But if you refuse to take the vaccine you have to remain in quarantine until such time as the pandemic is basically passed. So it’s your option. The one option you don’t have—the third option—that is not taking the vaccine and mingling with the public and risking other people getting covid.... What if we gave people that option? Quarantine is the option for refusing to accept the vaccine but you don’t have the third option of refusing to accept the vaccine and walking around the public without masks.

RFK: That sounds like a reasonable position. The problem is it’s not the way the world works. Let me explain why. Here’s how the world works and the best analogy is the flu vaccine. A flu vaccine is very much like the coronavirus vaccine. But we’ve had the flu vaccine for 90 years. Every year it’s fine tuned and perfected. Originally they told us with the flu vaccine, you’ll get one shot you’ll have immunity for life. Then it turned out, No we need to get it every year.

AD: Because there are variations of the flu.

RFK: Right. And the same thing is highly likely to happen with coronavirus. The Cochrane Collaboration—which is the ultimate arbiter for vaccine safety, it is the highest authority—and the British Medical Journal has done three giant meta reviews on the flu vaccine literature. They look at all the literature that exists, the peer review literature that is on PubMed, I think 127 studies. They did it in 2010, 2014, and 2017. Here’s what they found: CDC said the flu vaccine is 35 percent effective.
That’s what they claim. The Cochrane Collaboration said no. You have to give 100 flu shots to prevent one case of flu, Number One.
Number Two there is zero evidence that the flu shot prevents any hospitalizations or any deaths. Number Three the flu shot transmits the flu. In fact if you get a flu shot you’re six times more likely to give somebody else the flu than if you didn’t get the flu shot. This is true, Alan, for many many other shots. For the polio vaccine, which you know about, it’s so good at transmitting giving polio to other people that seventy percent of the polio cases in the world today come from the vaccine.

If you go to the chickenpox manufacturer’s insert, it says if you get this chickenpox vaccine you should not go near a pregnant woman for six weeks or anybody who is immune compromised.

The same with pertussis, you become an asymptomatic carrier. So you’re not guaranteeing—and in fact, the Astrazeneca vaccine, the “Oxford Vaccine“ which is the the other leader, when they gave it to monkeys, the monkeys continue to transmit the disease. And Bill Gates and Fauci have been going on TV saying We may get a vaccine that protects you but you may still be transmitting it. So why are you going to lock that guy up in a house?....

AD: I want to ask you a direct question. I’m 81, almost 82 years old. My doctor who I love and admire says to me every year come October you must get the flu vaccine. You must get the vaccine against pneumonia. You must get the vaccine whatever it is against shingles. I listen to my doctor who I love and admire, he’s been taking care of me for years. Should I instead listen to you and not take the flu vaccine?

RFK: Nobody should listen to me. People need to do the science themselves. And I would say to you, No. Listen to your doctor. What Reagan said about Gorbachev, Trust but Verify. You look at the vaccine inserts Alan. Look at some of the science. I would say, In a million years I would not take the flu shot and I’ll tell you why. Because this is what Cochrane and BMJ have found. People who take the flu shot are protected against that strain of flu but they’re 4.4 times more likely to get a non-flu infection. And you might find, and a lot of people do, that they get the flu shot and then they get sick. They’re usually not getting the flu. They’re getting something that is indistinguishable from the flu because the flu shot gives you something called pathogenic priming.

It injures your immune system so that you’re more likely to get a non-flu viral upper respiratory infection. In fact, the Pentagon published a story, “Influenza vaccination and respiratory virus interference among Department of Defense personnel during the 2017-2018 influenza season” by Greg Wolff in January of this year [Vaccine, Volume 38, Issue 2, 10 January 2020, Pages 350-354] in which they said the flu shot not only primes you for flu, it primes you for coronavirus. They had a placebo group and they had a vaccine group because they wanted, for military readiness, to see if the flu shot was prophylactic against coronavirus. What they found is actually the people who got the flu shot were 36 percent more likely to get coronavirus. And that’s not a lone study. We found six other major studies that say the same thing. If you get the flu shot you’re more likely to get cocoravirus. This is what the science says and you should not listen to me. Nobody should.

AD: I understand. So let me understand the implications of your position on the flu shot. Not only would you not take the flu shot and urge me to look at the science and in the end decide not to take the flu shot because it’s too dangerous. But you would also, if I take the implications of your position accurately, outlaw the flu shot, make it illegal. Because in your view and in the view of the scientists you quote, the flu shot causes more harm than good and increases the chances of us all getting the coronavirus. Do I understand the implications of your view correctly?

RFK: Yeah, but I wouldn’t take that sort of extreme position. What I would say is we should have vaccines but we shouldn’t have one-size-fits-all mandates. There may be some situations where even a flu shot would be beneficial to somebody because a flu shot is not completely ineffective. It does probably give you protection against that year’s flu strain if they get it right. And there could be a situation where somebody’s life depended on getting that flu shot. But to mandate the flu shot population-wide, I think, is criminal.

All you have to do Alan is look at what Cochrane said. Look what’s happened to longevity in the elderly since we started mandating the flu shot to elderly people. Those are the people who—their life expectancy has dramatically gone down as the flu shot proliferated. And if you see the people who died during the covid crisis—and there’s no science on this but it’s observational—it tended to be people who got their flu shots. People who were in nursing homes, who will all get flu shots. People who are first responders who—

AD: So with all due respect I don’t understand the implications of your position. If you’re right, why wouldn’t it follow that the flu shot should be illegal. You said it’s criminal to mandate the flu shot because it kills people in my age category. So if you had to cast the deciding vote, if you had decided to run for Congress instead of doing the great work you’ve done over so many years, and you were the deciding vote in the United States Senate, and there was a bill to outlaw the flu shot why wouldn’t you vote for it?

RFK: I’m kind of a free market guy, What I’m against— mandates—I think that there may be situations where that product might do some good for somebody. But I just don’t believe it should be mandated....

AD: I’m curious what you think of this because I feel very strongly about this. Let’s assume you have a drug, a pharmaceutical, that hasn’t been tested, that is potentially dangerous, but has a 10 percent chance of curing pancreatic cancer in terminally ill patients. Do you agree with me—and with President Trump on this issue—that individuals who are dying should have the opportunity to go off label and to take dangerous drugs that probably will kill them but increase the chances that they remain alive? That that should be a matter of individual choice?

RFK: I have a big libertarian streak in me. I think people should be left to their own choices wherever possible unless it’s going to do some harm to others. Let me address just one last thing ... I think we agree on most stuff. You said if it’s tested against a placebo—and this I think is why people like me are suspicious, are reticent. The Oxford vaccine which is the other leader, Gates has a huge investment in it, Fauci is pushing it. It is a leader. Astrazeneca is now branding it.
That vaccine is run by a guy called Andrew Pollard who is at Oxford, a very, very famous powerful virologist. He originally promised, at the beginning he said We’re going to test it against the placebo. We’re going to do what’s never been done in vaccinology before. We’re going to actually use an inert placebo and test it. Then, in the middle of his phase two, he said No we’re going to test it against the meningitis vaccine.

The meningitis vaccine is a vaccine with a really high injury profile. It has listed, just on its manufacturing insert, 50 deadly serious injuries including Kawasaki disease, Guillain-Barre, paralysis, seizure, heart attacks, death, and hepatitis and all kinds of autoimmune diseases. It’s probably, it’s arguably the most dangerous vaccine. So instead of giving his placebo group an inert placebo, he’s giving them the most dangerous vaccine he can. Why? It’s a ploy that vaccinologists use. They give their placebo group something that’s horrendously dangerous to mask injuries in the vaccine.

So everybody on my side sees this and they say, He’s not being honest. We do not know what the risk profile of that product is. We are never going to take that product because it was never tested against a placebo. Make them do the science. Don’t get angry at people who are skeptical and say, Oh you’re skeptical. We’re watching the sausage get made and it’s an ugly process.

And by the way, he gave that vaccine to a bunch of monkeys, to macaques. Then he exposed—he challenged the macaques by exposing them to the wild coronavirus. And all of the macaques got sick. So the vaccine doesn’t work but because the British government put 90,000 pounds into it he now has an order to make two million doses with a vaccine we know doesn’t work. And they’re going forward with it anyway and he refuses to test it against the placebo so that gives us zero faith.

AD: Let me first of all say nobody should be angry at you. People should be praising you for bringing this to the attention of the American public. Let me summarize, if I can, my view and then you can get the last word. I am thrilled that we had this debate. I think the public watching the debate has learned how much we agree about. We’re both libertarians. We both agree with John Stuart Mill that the government shouldn’t be compelling you to do anything just for your own good but they can compel you to do things that prevent harm to others.

We have some disagreements about mandates. I think we both agree that any vaccine should start out by being offered voluntarily. We both agree that people should be offered the vaccine initially and take it on a voluntary basis and that mandatory vaccination which presents very daunting moral and constitutional issues should not be required until it’s proved absolutely necessary by the consensus of medical opinion.

I think we also agree that the First Amendment and the spirit of the First Amendment requires that this debate continue and so I’m pleased that we had this debate. You’ve persuaded me about some of the medical issues. I will look further into the medical issues. I don’t think I’ve persuaded you on the constitutional issues and I know you haven’t persuaded me on the constitutional issues. I still take the position that in a democracy the courts do have the final word. That I do believe that if there were legislation mandating, in extreme circumstances with safety and other considerations taken into account, mandatory vaccination I do believe the Supreme Court would and should uphold mandatory vaccination under those circumstances. That’s the major area we disagree with.

But in practical terms I suspect we don’t have a lot of disagreement that will come to fruition in the next year or so. Because in the next year the big issue will be how to get the vaccine voluntarily to as many people as possible who are willing to take it. And so thank you for putting together this debate. I think it really was informative and thank you Robert for accepting the idea of debating on this issue.

RFK: Thank you Alan. I want to express my gratitude to you on behalf of myself and everybody in this community. People who are called anti-vaxxers, they’re mainly not anti-vaccine. Almost all of them are the mothers and fathers of intellectually disabled kids who gave all the vaccines, who did what they were told and then their child was injured and that prompted them to go out and do the research. Those people should be allowed to speak. Those people should not be gagged. They should not be considered heretics. They should be allowed to tell their story and they should be treated with compassion and understanding and patience and an intellectual openness toward their stories. They shouldn’t be vilified. They shouldn’t be gaslighted. They shouldn’t be ignored and right now particularly at a point in our history where we’re talking about giving lots of people this vaccine their stories are more important to hear than ever.

I want to thank you because for 15 years all of us have been trying to do a debate and we haven’t been able to get Peter Hotez to do it, to get Paul Offit, Ian Lipkin, any of the leaders have been scared to sit where you are now. I want to thank you so much on behalf of all of us, but also our democratic traditions for coming here. Thank you Alan.

AD: Well thank you Robert.

PBD: Gentlemen one thing I do want to say is I’m glad I got through my 28 questions with you guys. It was very good and I know one thing is we have to make this disclaimer that this debate is not sponsored by Viagra even though Robert brought up Viagra and I’ll make sure next time we’re in Boston I avoid taking you to my favorite sushi spot since you are anti-fish. I had no clue until today’s debate that Robert is anti-fish.

And by the way, based on how this goes, if the audience comes back, we may reach out to you for part two again if there’s other topics we can touch up....

So can you imagine for 15 years Robert Kennedy has been waiting for one person to want to debate the issue of vaccine. And Alan Dershowitz, the attorney, constitutional lawyer, finally said yes. This took place, you had a chance to watch both of them go at it. I’m curious to know if either one of them changed your mind. Please comment below.

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