Instagram deletes Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s account over COVID-19, vaccine misinformation

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. RFK Jr.

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. attends the 2019 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope Awards at the New York Hilton Midtown on Thursday, Dec.12, 2019, in New York. (Photo by Greg Allen/Invision/AP)

Instagram said Wednesday that it has shut down the account belonging to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. after he violated the social media network’s policies regarding the spread of misinformation.

“We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” an Instagram spokesperson told CNN and USA Today.

While Instagram is owned by Facebook, Kennedy’s Facebook page with more than 300,000 followers is still active. Kennedy’s Twitter account, which has more than 200,000 followers, is also still active.

Kennedy is the son of former attorney general Robert Kennedy and the nephew of President John F. Kennedy. He previously ran for Senate as a Democrat in 2020 but was defeated in the primary by incumbent Ed Markey.

Kennedy has been known to support anti-vaccine policies in the past. According to CNN, he’s lobbied Congress to grant parents exemptions from state laws requiring children to receive some vaccinations.

USA Today reports that Kennedy has also made the claim on social media that the COVID-19 vaccine causes severe allergic reactions, and that the COVID-19 vaccine caused the death of baseball legend Hank Aaron last month.

While Aaron did die shortly after receiving a dose of the vaccine, his family has said Aaron died of a stroke.

In January, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a briefing with the White House COVID-19 response team that statics show that Pfizer’s vaccine only produced 2 severe allergic reactions per one million doses, while Moderna’s vaccine only produced a severe reaction six times per every million doses.

The reactions mostly occurred in people who have a history of severe allergic reactions, who the CDC recommends avoiding the vaccine for the time being.

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