FACT CHECK: Did RFK Jr. Meet With Then-President Trump To Lead A Vaccine Safety Commission?

Joseph Casieri | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on social media purported that Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was tapped by then-President Trump to be the head of a vaccine safety commission, but was passed over after Trump received a donation from Pfizer.

Verdict: Unsubstantiated

Trump did meet with Kennedy. Kennedy said Trump asked him to lead a vaccine safety commission in 2017, but the latter’s transition team denied such claims.

Fact Check:

Kennedy is receiving backlash from his family after his comments claiming that the COVID-19 virus affected Caucasians and black people more than Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, The Guardian reported. Kennedy’s sister, Kerry, stated his comments were “deplorable” and “untruthful.”

The Twitter post shared a video of RFK Jr. telling conservative podcast host Dave Rubin that he was hired by the Trump administration to work on a commission for vaccine safety. In the video, RFK Jr. wears a cream collared shirt in front of a white wall with a singular art piece.

The caption reads, “RFK Jr. explains how Trump originally tapped him for a vaccine safety commission, but cut it off & hired two Big Pharma swampers after he got a $1 million dollar inauguration donation from Pfizer.”

Kennedy told Rubin in their interview that when the news got out that he would head the vaccine safety commission Pfizer gave Trump a $1 million contribution and Kennedy lost his position to other candidates.

Kennedy made the same claim in January 2017 after meeting with Trump, NBC News reported. He shared this news with reporters outside of Trump Tower after their meeting, telling reporters “President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it.”  (RELATED: Did Donald Trump Call Ron DeSantis A Virgin?)

Pfizer, along with several other companies including Dow Chemical and Bank of America, each gave $1 million to Trump inaugural committee. USA Today reported at the time that these funds are used for the inaugural ball, receptions and parades.

However, Trump denied that Kennedy was asked to head the vaccine safety commission. Reuters reported at the time that Trump’s transition team acknowledged that he met with Kennedy to discuss autism and the possible link to vaccines but no decision was made on who would chair the commission.

The link between vaccines and autism have been repeatedly debunked, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducting and funding nine different studies to research the claim, the agency reported.

Check Your Fact has contacted the Kennedy and Trump campaign to comment on the situation. We will update this piece if a response is provided.

This is not the first time a misinformation has been shared online. Check Your Fact recently debunked a claim that the World Economic Forum said humanity will wear uniforms by 2030.

Joseph Casieri

Fact Check Reporter