Robert F. Kennedy Jr. spoke out on Monday night to claim that COVID-19 vaccines have killed more people than all vaccines “over the past 30 years.”

Kennedy made this claim during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson in which he cited data from the Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), a self-reporting tool that the CDC itself says may “contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.”

“There have been 17,000 deaths reported to VAERS from the Covid vaccines,” said Kennedy, who is a professor at Pace University. “And that’s more, in the last eight months, than all vaccines – the billions and billions of vaccines – combined over the past 30 years. This vaccine appears to be killing more people than all vaccines combined.”

Dr. Pradheep J. Shanker, a radiologist from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, responded by claiming that making assessments on the safety of COVID vaccines based on VAERS data is “not accurate.”

“VAERS was intended to cast a wide net to capture any possible or potential complication that even has the remotest possibility of being related to the vaccine,” Shanker told Mediate. “Any adverse event is considered reportable. This ranges from direct symptoms, such as fevers or hematomas, to events such as death from blunt trauma in a car accident (which, of course, is highly unlikely to be related to the vaccine). With hundreds of millions of doses, the likelihood of some percentage of those people dying (especially among the elderly) after vaccination is a certainty.”

According to the CDC, at the time of this writing, 58% of the United States has been fully vaccinated, with 68.4 percent having at least one dose. Each week, there are about 80,000 new cases of COVID-19, down from a late summer high of about 164,000, which has been attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant.

Kennedy is a lifelong Democrat who has been vocal about his anti-vaccine views since long before the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, he has lobbied Congress to allow parents who do not want to vaccinate their children exemptions from state mandates to do so.

Children’s Health Defense, an organization founded and led by Kennedy, says it does not oppose vaccines but is dedicated to questioning their safety. A recent post from the organization included the header, “Vaccine Mandates: An Erosion of Civil Rights?”

This group promotes claims generally not accepted by medical experts that mercury in vaccines can cause autism. Back in 2017, Kennedy made headlines when he claimed that vaccines had “caused an autism epidemic.”

Who do you think would win the Presidency?

By completing the poll, you agree to receive emails from LifeZette, occasional offers from our partners and that you've read and agree to our privacy policy and legal statement.

This piece was written by James Samson on November 16, 2021. It originally appeared in and is used by permission.

The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of LifeZette.