Robert F. Kennedy Jr., nephew of former President John F. Kennedy and son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, is facing backlash for telling a crowd of anti vaccine mandate protesters that life was like ‘Hitler’s Germany.’
Kennedy and Informed Consent Action Network founder Del Bigtree were among big names who addressed the rally Sunday morning. Around 20,000 people were expected to attend the demonstration, with reports of the crowd ranging from several thousand to the Daily Caller’s 30,000.
‘Americans want democracy back, and this rally is a demand by Americans to get their democracy back,’ Kennedy said of the rally, according to WUSA9.
In his speech on Sunday, Kennedy referred to the modern climate as ‘turnkey totalitarianism,’ saying that the government has managed to ‘put in place all of these technological measures for control,’ making COVID-era policies inescapable, and comparing those holding out on taking the vaccine to Anne Frank in Nazi Germany.
‘It’s been the ambition of every totalitarian state from the beginning of mankind to control every aspect of behavior, of conduct, of thought and to obliterate dissent.’
Kennedy compared the plight of the vaccine-adverse to that of Anne Frank on Sunday, saying that ‘even in Hitler’s Germany, you could hide in the attic like Anne Frank did.’
‘Today, the mechanisms are being put in place to make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide,’ he added.
He complained again about vaccine passports, saying that ‘as flawed as our government is, you still have rights. The minute they hand you that vaccine passport, every right that you have is transformed into a privilege contingent upon your obediences to arbitrary government dictates. It will make you a slave!’
RFK Jr. was shellacked on social media for his analogy, including one tweet from the Auschwitz Memorial.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a rally and march protesting vaccine mandates on the National Mall in Washington DC on Sunday. Kennedy used an analogy to the Holocaust at the event
It wasn’t just Kennedy making comparisons to the Holocaust at the rally. One marcher used a star of David to show off their lack of vaccination
‘Exploiting the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured, and murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany – including children like Anne Frank – in a debate about vaccines and limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay,’ the museum tweeted.
Others roasted Kennedy for his comparison.
Writer Helen Kennedy said on Twitter: ‘Finish the book next time. Also the attic was, and still is, in Amsterdam.’
Bestselling author Don Wislow commented: ‘Dear @RobertKennedyJr: Your father would be repulsed by what you said today about the Holocaust. Repulsed. WTF happened to you?’
The account @AvengerResister pointed out that Kennedy Jr. had held a party at his home requiring vaccinations: ‘Just a reminder, anti-vaxxer RFK Jr. hosted a party at his house and required his guests to be vaccinated before arriving.’
Kennedy blamed the party’s restrictions at the time on his wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm actress Cheryl Hines.
Some used his marriage to make the point that Curb creator Larry David – who introduced the couple to one another and is himself Jewish – might not be thrilled by the comparisons to Anne Frank either.
Doug Heye wrote: ‘I’m imagining Larry David calling Cheryl Hines to tell her she can’t be on the next season of Curb: ‘Sorry Cheryl, but your husband is pretty…pretty…pretty…pretty…insane.”
Kennedy Jr., seen here at a benefit with wife Cheryl Hines and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David – who introduced the couple – as well as comedian Ray Romano
Meanwhile, singer Graham Nash – member of the famous supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash – is in the process of filing a cease-and-desist against Kennedy for using his song ‘We Can Change the World’ in a promotional video for the rally.
‘I do not support [Kennedy’s] anti-vaccination position as the history of the efficacy of the Covid19 vaccines is well documented,’ Nash said. ‘When I wrote ‘We Can Change the World’ I did not expect that an institution such as this one that claims that it fights for individuals’ freedoms would so readily and recklessly infringe upon and, by its association with its cause, mischaracterize the intellectual property rights of a songwriter for its own purposes.’
Many of those who attended the rally were not masked, despite DC Mayor Muriel Bowser mandating masks outdoors for people who have not had their COVID shot when gathered in large groups outside.
British singer-songwriter and musician Graham Nash – famous for being part of the folk-rock supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash – criticized RFK Jr’s use of his song in a video promoting the rally
Meat Loaf – who died of suspected COVID side effects last week aged 74 – could be heard blaring out over the demonstration.
The much loved star was vocally anti-vaccine mandate and mask, and has since become a folk hero for those at the demonstration. Rumors that he was killed by the virus itself would also make him one of its highest-profile victims. It is unknown if he’d had a vaccine prior to his death.
In videos posted to social media, the singer’s hit I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) could be heard blaring as protesters gathered around the Lincoln Memorial’s Reflecting Pool.
After the artist’s death on Thursday, some mocked his stances on vaccine and mask mandates on social media.
‘In the end, he finally let us know what that one thing was that he wouldn’t do for love: Get vaccinated,’ tweeted Gene Wu, a Democrat in the Texas state House of Representatives, referring to the lyrics to his song that protesters played on Sunday.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a member of the ‘Disinformation Dozen’ – 12 individuals who disseminate about two thirds of the anti-vaccine content on social media, according to a study conducted by The Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) and Anti-Vax Watch alliance.
The son of former US Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy Sr. was banned from Instagram in February of 2021 ‘for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,’ a spokesperson for parent company Facebook explained at the time.
‘While coerced submission with experimental medical products is clearly government-sponsored violence, the anti-mandates movement is committed to nonviolent resistance,’ Kennedy said this week in a statement.
In his speech on Sunday, Kennedy referred to the modern climate as ‘turnkey totalitarianism,’ saying that the government has managed to ‘put in place all of these totalitarian measures for control,’ making COVID-era policies inescapable, and comparing those holding out on taking the vaccine to Anne Frank in Nazi Germany.
Unlike Anne Frank, who hid in a cramped Amsterdam attic with seven other persecuted Jews for 761 days during the Nazi regime before she and her family were rooted out and sent to die in concentration camps, ‘none of us can run and none of us can hide’ from COVID-era policies in the wake of modern technology.
‘It’s been the ambition of every totalitarian state from the beginning of mankind to control every aspect of behavior, of conduct, of thought, and to obliterate dissent. None them have been able to do it. They didn’t have the technological capacity.’
‘Today, the mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so none of us can run and none of us can hide.’
‘Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,’ Kennedy continued. ‘I visited in 1962 East Germany with my father, and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible — many died doing it, but it was possible.’
Kennedy also likened Fauci to Mussolini, with the audience erupting into a chant of ‘lock him up!’
Like other Covid restrictions aimed at reining in a disease that has infected more than 70 million people in the United States, killed more than 865,000 and brought much of daily life around the globe to a stuttering halt for two years and counting, vaccine mandates have become a deeply polarizing political issue.