American Pravda: Vaxxing, Anthony Fauci, and Aids
By RON UNZ
RFK, Jr. and the Anti-Vaxxing Movement
Over the last year or so, fervent anti-vaxxers have become a major presence on our alt-media website, a situation I found very disagreeable. Many of our longtime columnists—Mike Whitney, Paul Craig Roberts, Linh Dinh, Gilad Atzmon, and Israel Shamir—had also moved strongly into that ideological camp, with Whitney’s long articles drawing enormous readership from across the Internet.
I’ve never paid any attention to vaccines and my own views on the role they might play against Covid were entirely mainstream and conventional, as I explained a couple of months ago in a candid 9,000 word interview:
- Are the Opponents of the Covid Injections “Anti-Vaxx Crackpots”?
Interview with Ron Unz
Mike Whitney • The Unz Review • August 1, 2021 • 9,000 Words
The resulting comment-thread—heavily laced with ferocious attacks against me—soon exceeded 200,000 words and became quite sluggish, so I was forced to follow it up with two successive Open Threads on the vaxxing controversy. Several of the anti-vaxxing articles by Whitney, Roberts, and Dinh also provoked enormously long exchanges.
The commenting-software I’ve developed for this website is quite powerful and flexible, allowing meaningful debates that may easily reach the length of a hefty book, a situation quite rare elsewhere on the Internet. As a consequence, some of the anti-vaxxers declared that our million or two million words of anti-vaxxing discussions probably constituted the largest such repository in existence, an achievement that gave me rather mixed feelings.
I’d gradually discovered that Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., heir to the famous family, was a leading public figure in the anti-vaxx movement, and he released his lengthy book on the subject last month. A commenter whose opinion I respect had strongly endorsed it, so I decided to get a better sense of the issue directly from that source, and bought it by clicking a button.
Others apparently shared my interest. For ten days or so, The Real Anthony Fauci became the #1 bestseller on Amazon, and it has now accumulated over 1,500 reviews, 95% of them five-stars, which must be close to a record. The work also carried a couple of dozen strong endorsement-blurbs, mostly from medical doctors or scientists, including a Nobel Laureate, but also from public figures across the ideological spectrum including Oliver Stone, Tucker Carlson, Naomi Wolf, and Mark Crispin Miller. Meanwhile, despite its huge success and the famous name of its author, the work seems to have been greeted by almost total silence across the media.
I found the book itself rather unprepossessing. Although the text seemed fine and generally well-edited, I noticed some peculiar stylistic quirks. The text-margins were extremely narrow, so narrow that the pages lacked any chapter-headings, while the font-size was also smaller than normal, and tiny for the quoted passages. These unusual choices allowed a work that should have filled 600 or 650 pages to be squeezed down to just 480, but at the cost of some readability, with the intent probably being to minimize the length and the price. There were a couple of thousand reference-notes, but instead of being shown on each page or grouped together at the end, they were distributed chapter-by-chapter, which I found inconvenient. Worse still, the book lacked any index, severely diminishing the usefulness of the hard copy version, which I prefer reading. All of this suggests that the book was produced in considerable haste, but I think it would have been worth the effort to take an extra week to create an index or reorganize the notes, and perhaps this will be done in a second edition.
However, none of these flaws nor the apparent near-total lack of any media coverage or advertising seem to have hindered the rise of this gigantic #1 bestseller, proving that controversial content does still sometimes triumph over anything else.
But evaluating that content is another matter entirely, especially for an ignorant layman such as myself. A sizable fraction of the author’s two thousand source-references are to academic journal articles or discussions of other scientific studies, and I am neither a medical doctor nor a biological researcher, so even if I had tried to check any of them—which I did not—I wouldn’t have been able to properly weigh their evidence against that on the other side. Therefore, all my remarks, at least with regard to the scientific issues, should be taken with a large grain of salt.
Surprisingly enough, and very contrary to my expectations, Kennedy’s stated position on vaccines seemed rather mild, quite different from the wild fear-mongering so regularly encountered on the Internet. He claimed that many vaccines weren’t properly tested, often had harmful side-effects, and were promoted mostly due to the profiteering of greedy pharmaceutical corporations and their subverted governmental regulators, accusations far more moderate—and far more plausible—than I had assumed he would make. While it’s not at all uncommon for wild-eyed anti-vaxxers to warn of millions—or even billions!—of deaths due to the current Covid vaccination drive, I didn’t see any such egregious claims in the carefully-documented chapters of this book.
Some of his theories about vaccination efforts over the last couple of decades do seem rather implausible to me. He regards Microsoft founder Bill Gates as a nefarious mastermind behind the global vaccination project, though Gates’ suggested motive is the multiplication of his wealth and power rather than a diabolical plot to exterminate most of the human race, with the latter allegation being widespread among the more excitable anti-vaxxers. But despite reading Kennedy’s account with an open mind, I saw nothing to seriously challenge my own much more mundane explanation. After having been vilified in the 1990s as a monopolist who had become the wealthiest man in the world by selling mediocre, buggy software, Gates may have simply sought to redeem his reputation by funding completely innocuous do-good projects, and he selected public health and vaccines as obvious choices, never dreaming that two decades later these efforts would have become so exceptionally controversial.
Similarly, although there is certainly much to condemn in the responses of the American and European governments to the Covid epidemic, my own interpretation sharply diverges from that of the author. In his opinion, the lockdowns and other disease control measures taken by our political elites represented a planned, sinister strategy for destroying all our traditional freedoms and establishing a totalitarian police state, while what I saw instead was utter incompetence.
China had responded brilliantly to the totally unexpected threat of a mysterious, highly-contagious disease, imposing an extremely severe short-term lockdown a thousand times larger than anything seen in world history; this allowed the government to completely stamp out the virus with minimal human losses, while restoring normal life for almost all Chinese within a couple of months. But when the West tried to mimic that successful approach, the lockdowns imposed were so haphazard and disorganized that they proved entirely ineffective at controlling the virus, and since our flummoxed leaders had no other solution, they kept those lockdowns in place for a year or more, so that millions died while the lives of many hundreds of millions were severely disrupted.
My analysis is obviously quite different from Kennedy’s. But if we merely disagree about whether our ruling elites should be condemned and punished for their evil subversion or instead for their criminal incompetence, we are obviously allies in every practical sense, and disputing such matters of interpretation serves no purpose.
This relates to a broader criticism. Though many of the substantive, factual claims Kennedy makes seem reasonably plausible and are usually well-documented, they are often presented in an overly shrill tone that I found distracting, a tone that at times almost lapses into hysteria. Given the enormity of the issues involved and the millions of lives at stake, his tendency is quite understandable, but I think the book would have been strengthened if the same material had been presented in a more restrained manner.
RFK Jr. clearly ranks as a leader of America’s anti-vaxxer movement, which may broadly encompass 20-30% of our population, and his massive bestseller seems likely to become its seminal text. Meanwhile, I would regard myself as very much on the other side, but after carefully considering his views, I think the disagreements may be more apparent than real. I lack the scientific expertise to evaluate 95% of his claims. Yet even if many or most of them were correct, I do not think I would need to retract any of the statements I made in my long August interview denouncing “anti-vaxx crackpots.”
His first and longest chapter discussed the various proposed responses to the Covid epidemic, arguing that the use of extremely cheap but reasonably effective medical treatments such as Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and Ivermectin (IVM) had been torpedoed by the vested interests of the powerful pharmaceutical industry, eager for lucrative profits from experimental vaccines and their own patented and very expensive drugs. This exact debate has been raging on the Internet since the early months of 2020, and I have never taken a stand on the contentious issue. But although I can’t weigh the credibility of the scientific studies he cites against those on the other side, I thought he made a reasonably persuasive case, especially with regard to IVM.
Unlike some of his more extreme supporters, Kennedy seemed to fully admit that Covid is a dangerous disease, but correctly emphasized its extreme age-skew. He pointed out that the vaccines have proven far less effective than originally predicted, and he noted that they were rushed into widespread release without sufficient testing, which may eventually lead to major future health problems. The legal fig-leaf that allowed the normal regime of patient trials to be set aside was the claim that no other medical treatment existed, and this probably explains the widespread attacks on the use of IVM. Moreover, the vaccination of children or the youthful seems very misguided given mildness of the illness for those age-cohorts.
Mandatory vaccination efforts enforced by serious legal or employment sanctions are the explosive flashpoint of the anti-vaxxer movement, but these never made any sense to me. The vaccines appear ineffective in preventing infection or transmission, and their main benefit is to greatly reduce the risk of serious illness or death. So the vaccinated have little to fear from those who reject the needle, while the latter can make an informed—or perhaps emotional—choice in weighing the risks of a relatively untested vaccine against those of severe Covid illness. Given the extreme paranoia of a considerable slice of anti-vaxxers, heavy governmental pressure may even be proving counter-productive.
The Hidden Background of American Biological Warfare Programs
Kennedy is most closely identified with Covid vaccine issues, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover few sharp disagreements on those matters, but I was even more pleased with his discussion of one of my own areas of focus. I regard the long-obscured history of America’s massive biowarfare program as central to properly understanding the global epidemic currently ravaging the world, but any such association has been almost entirely avoided by mainstream journalists and even within the alternative media very few have been willing to broach that subject. Yet Kennedy squarely confronts the reality, devoting his last and second-longest chapter to this topic, ensuring that many millions will probably now encounter it for the first time.
Although the author is a liberal Democrat, with deep ideological roots and the strongest of family pedigrees, in today’s topsy-turvy America his only significant mainstream media coverage came from an hour-long interview by Tucker Carlson of FoxNews, who praised him as “one of the bravest and most honest people” he’d ever met. And near the end of that broadcast, listeners were told that if they only read one chapter of the book, the section on American biowarfare was the most important:
That chapter begins with a brief overview of the World War II origins and later growth of those controversial military programs, noting that they were officially abolished by President Richard Nixon in 1969, and afterwards banned by international treaty. But those prohibitions contained a large loophole, allowing the continuing existence of “dual use” biodefense projects, so much of what had been biological warfare development was simply rechristened “vaccine research” and shifted from the Pentagon to the National Institutes of Health.
Kennedy then focuses his attention on Dr. Robert Kadlec, a central figure in the story he tells. From the late 1990s onward, Kadlec had been one of America’s leading advocates of biowarfare, arguing that the technology offered the possibility of launching powerful attacks against the food supply or population of global adversaries while minimizing the risk of direct retaliation. As he wrote in 1998:
Biological weapons under the cover of an endemic or natural disease occurrence provides an attacker the potential for plausible denial. Biological warfare’s potential to create significant economic losses and consequent political instability, coupled with plausible deniability, exceeds the possibilities of any other human weapon.
Over the last few decades, our biowarfare programs have absorbed well over $100 billion in government funding, yet ironically the only known victims have been the American citizens who died in the false flag anthrax attacks that quickly followed 9/11. As Kennedy explains, those deadly bioweapon mailings to leading U.S. Senators and journalists stampeded Congress into passing the controversial Patriot Act and although purportedly from Islamic terrorists, the FBI later determined that the spores had been drawn from our own biowarfare stockpiles, possibility the one at Ft. Detrick. Although I had long been aware of these facts, until reading Kennedy’s book I hadn’t known that Kadlec’s business associates benefited enormously from those mysterious attacks, which panicked the government into rescuing their BioPort corporation from the brink of bankruptcy with huge and lucrative new biodefense contracts.
During the years that followed, Kadlec regularly switched back and forth between senior roles in America’s federal biowarfare programs and in the private corporations that received related contracts, with investigative journalist Whitney Webb providing a very detailed account of his activities. After the Trump Administration came into office, some of its leading elements immediately began mobilizing for a global confrontation against China, and Kadlec was brought back into government in 2017. Then in 2018 and 2019, China’s food supply was severely impacted by mysterious viral epidemics that destroyed much of its poultry industry and 40% of its entire pig herd, by far the largest in the world.
During these years, Kadlec was also heavily involved in a number of different biowarfare drills, intended to help prepare American society for the outbreak of dangerous and mysterious new viruses. In particular, he ran the large-scale “Crimson Contagion” simulation exercise from January to August 2019, in which federal and local authorities practiced a coordinated defense of their communities against risk of infection from the hypothetical outbreak of a dangerous respiratory virus in China; and two months after this major drill ended, a mysterious virus of exactly those characteristics suddenly appeared in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
The chapter also notes the close links between America’s biowarfare establishment and the Wuhan lab, which held the closest genetic match to the Covid virus and also received American funding to undertake the “gain of function” experiments that many experts now believe produced the enhanced virus that created the current pandemic. The author is very careful to avoid including any of the explicit accusations or scenarios that have been the centerpiece of my own series of articles over the past 18 months, but he provides a enormous amount of important information spread across those 65 pages and nearly 300 source references. This conveniently allows thoughtful readers to easily connect the dots.
The HIV/AIDS Crisis as a Medical Media Hoax?
Based upon Kennedy’s public focus and the individuals championing his book, I had expected it would contain a detailed critique of vaccines and the controversial public health measures Western governments had implemented to control the Covid epidemic, and so it did. I was pleased to also see a lengthy chapter on the substantial nexus between the mysterious new virus that had devastated the world and America’s longstanding biological warfare programs. But a major portion of the text was devoted to an entirely different topic, one that I had not expected to see and found completely astonishing.
The eponymous target of Kennedy’s book is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who had spent five decades playing a leading role in the public health activities of the American government before he became the official face of our response to the Covid epidemic. With the calm, soothing demeanor of an experienced physician and his ubiquitous presence on TV, he was elevated as a national hero by the political mainstream, which endorsed the policies he advocated, but eventually attracted huge hostility from those segments of the population that vehemently opposed lockdowns, masking, and vaccinations.
Since I don’t watch cable news and hadn’t paid much attention to the details of our Covid public health response, I completely missed most of Fauci’s burgeoning fame, and never had strong feelings about him one way or the other. However, his name was already somewhat familiar to me from three or four decades earlier when he had played a similar governmental role in America’s AIDS crisis, and he’d always been vaguely associated with that disease in my mind.
Given that Fauci was Kennedy’s primary target and AIDS had launched his career, I might have expected some discussion of that topic, but what I encountered were seven full chapters running nearly 200 pages and constituting almost half the entire book. The incendiary claims that Kennedy makes about AIDS and Fauci’s role in that human disaster were entirely new to me, and I lack even a sliver of the technical expertise to properly evaluate them. But if even 10% of his accusations are correct, his portrait is an absolutely devastating one.
Despite constituting so much of Kennedy’s book, this shocking material on AIDS seems to have been studiously avoided by most who have discussed it or interviewed the author, and it receives negligible attention on the Amazon sales page. Indeed, when I mentioned some of his claims to an academic I know, he checked around a bit, found no mention of them anywhere, and almost seemed to suspect that I had been hallucinating. Kennedy opens one of this AIDS chapters with the phrase “I hesitated to include this chapter…” and I can easily understand why.
As all of us know from the media, AIDS is a deadly auto-immune disease that was first diagnosed in the early 1980s, primarily afflicting gay men and intervenous drug users. Transmitted by bodily fluids, the disease usually spread through sexual activity, blood transfusions, or the sharing of needles, and HIV, the virus responsible, was finally discovered in 1984. Over the years, a variety of medical treatments were developed, mostly ineffective at first, but more recently so successful that although being HIV-positive was once considered a death-sentence, the infection has now become a chronic, controllable condition. The current Wikipedia page on HIV/AIDS runs more than 20,000 words including over 300 references.
Yet according to the information provided in Kennedy’s #1 Amazon bestseller, this well-known and solidly-established picture, which I had never seriously questioned, is almost entirely false and fraudulent, essentially amounting to a medical media hoax. Instead of being responsible for AIDS, the HIV virus is probably harmless and had nothing to do with the disease. But when individuals were found to be infected with HIV, they were subjected to the early, extremely lucrative AIDS drugs, which were actually lethal and often killed them. The earliest AIDS cases had mostly been caused by very heavy use of particular illegal drugs, and the HIV virus had been misdiagnosed as being responsible. But since Fauci and the profit-hungry drug companies soon built enormous empires upon that misdiagnosis, for more than 35 years they have fought very hard to maintain and protect it, exerting all their influence to suppress the truth in the media while destroying the careers of any honest researchers who challenged that fraud. Meanwhile, AIDS in Africa was something entirely different, probably caused mostly by malnutrition or other local conditions.
I found Kennedy’s account as shocking as anything I have ever encountered.
Extraordinary claims obviously require extraordinary evidence. Kennedy’s chapters on AIDS include more than 900 source-references, many of them to academic journal articles or other supposedly authoritative scientific information. But although I have a strong science background, with my original academic training having been in theoretical physics, I am not a medical doctor nor a virologist, let alone someone with specialized expertise in AIDS research, and these articles would mean nothing to me even if I had attempted to read them. So I was forced to seek other indications that Kennedy’s 200 pages on AIDS represented something more than sheerest lunacy.
His book carries glowing praise from a long list of medical doctors and scientists, but their names and backgrounds are completely unknown to me, and with nearly a million practicing physicians in America, a few could surely be found to endorse almost anything. However, the first endorsement on the back cover is from Prof. Luc Montagnier, the medical researcher who won a Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV virus in 1984, and he writes: “Tragically for humanity, there are many, many untruths emanating from Fauci and his minions. RFK Jr. exposes the decades of lies.” Moreover, we are told that as far back as the San Francisco International AIDS Conference of June 1990, Montagnier had publicly declared “the HIV virus is harmless and passive, a benign virus.”
Perhaps this Nobel Laureate endorsed the book for other reasons and perhaps the meaning of his striking 1990 statement has been misconstrued. But surely the opinion of the researcher who won a Nobel Prize for discovering the HIV virus should not be totally ignored in assessing its possible role.
And he was hardly alone. Kennedy explains that the following year, a top Harvard microbiologist organized a group containing some of the world’s most distinguished virologists and immunologists and they issued a public statement, endorsed by three additional science Nobel Laureates, that raised the same questions:
It is widely believed by the general public that a retrovirus called HIV causes a group of diseases called AIDS. Many biomedical scientists now question this hypothesis. We propose a thorough reappraisal of the existing evidence for and against this hypothesis, to be conducted by a suitable independent group. We further propose that the critical epidemiological studies be designed and undertaken.
As Kennedy tells the story, by that point AIDS researchers and the mainstream media were completely in thrall to the ocean of government funding and pharmaceutical advertising controlled by Fauci and his corporate allies, so these calls by eminent scientists were almost entirely ignored and unreported. According to one journalist, some two trillion dollars has been spent on HIV/AIDS research and treatment over the decades, and with so many research careers and personal livelihoods dependent upon what amounts to an “HIV/AIDS industrial-complex,” few have been willing to critically examine the basic foundations of that empire.
Until a couple of weeks ago, I had never given any thought to questioning AIDS orthodoxy. But discovering the longstanding scientific skepticism of so many knowledgeable experts, including four Nobel Laureates, one of them the actual discoverer of the HIV virus, has completely shifted my perspective. I cannot easily ignore or dismiss the theories Kennedy presents, but can only briefly summarize them and leave it to individual readers to investigate further then decide for themselves. And in basic fairness to the author, he himself also repeatedly emphasizes that he can “take no position on the relationship between HIV and AIDS” but is simply disturbed that Fauci has successfully used his government funding and media clout to suppress an ongoing and perfectly legitimate scientific debate. According to Kennedy, his book is intended “to give air and daylight to dissenting voices.”
His narrative of the origins of the HIV/AIDS connection is absolutely stunning and seems well-documented. Dr. Robert Gallo, an NIH researcher in Fauci’s orbit, originally announced HIV as the apparent cause of AIDS at a packed 1984 press conference, which he held before any of his supportive research findings had actually been published and reviewed by his scientific peers. Only long after the theory had become firmly embedded in the national media did it come out that only 26 of the 76 AIDS victims in his seminal study showed any traces of the HIV virus, an extremely slender reed for such a momentous conclusion.
Furthermore, critics eventually noted that many thousands of documented AIDS victims similarly lacked any signs of the HIV virus, while millions of those infected by HIV exhibited absolutely no symptoms of AIDS. Correlation does not imply causality, but in this case, even the correlation seemed a very loose one. According to Kennedy, fully orthodox AIDS researchers grudgingly admit that no scientific study has ever demonstrated that HIV causes AIDS. The widespread accusations of serious scientific misbehavior and outright intellectual theft that long swirled around Gallo’s laboratory research were eventually confirmed by legal proceedings, and that helped explain why his name was not included on the Nobel Prize for the HIV discovery.
AIDS had originally come under the purview of the National Cancer Institute, but once it was blamed on a virus, Fauci’s own infectious disease center managed to gain control. That resulted in an enormous gusher of Congressional funding and media attention for what had previously been a sleepy and obscure corner of the NIH, and Fauci soon established himself as America’s reigning “AIDS Czar.” The HIV-AIDS link may or may not be scientifically valid, but it carried enormous political and financial implications for Fauci’s career.
In 1985 AZT, an existing drug, was found to kill the HIV virus in laboratory tests. Fauci then made tremendous efforts to speed it through clinical trials as an appropriate treatment for healthy, HIV-positive individuals, with FDA approval finally coming in 1987, producing Fauci’s first moment of triumph. Priced at $10,000/year per patient, AZT was one of the most expensive drugs in history, and with the cost covered by health insurance and government subsidies, it produced an unprecedented financial windfall for its manufacturer.
Kennedy devotes an entire chapter to the story of AZT, and the tale he tells is something out of Kafka or perhaps Monty Python. Apparently, Fauci had been under enormous pressure to produce medical breakthroughs justifying his large budget, so he manipulated the AZT trials to conceal the extremely toxic nature of the drug, which rapidly killed many of the patients who received it, with their symptoms being ascribed to AIDS. So following FDA approval in 1987, hundreds of thousands of perfectly healthy individuals found to be infected with HIV were placed on a regimen of AZT, and the large number of resulting deaths was misattributed to the virus rather than to the anti-viral drug. According to the scientific experts cited in the book, the vast majority of post-1987 “AIDS deaths” were actually due to AZT.
One of the major scientific heroes in Kennedy’s account is Prof. Peter H. Duesberg of Berkeley. During the 1970s and 1980s, Duesberg had been widely regarded as among the world’s foremost virologists, elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences at age 50, making him one of its youngest members in history. As early as 1987 he began raising serious doubts about the HIV/AIDS hypothesis and highlighting the dangers of AZT, eventually publishing a series of journal articles on the subject that gradually won over many others, including Montagnier. In 1996 he published Inventing the AIDS Virus, a massive 712 page volume setting forth his case, with the Foreword provided by Nobel Laureate Kary Mullis, the renowned inventor of PCR technology and himself another leading public critic of the HIV/AIDS hypothesis. Duesberg even underscored the confidence of his HIV skepticism by offering to be injected with HIV-tainted blood.
But rather than openly debate such a strong scientific opponent, Fauci and his allies blacklisted Duesberg from receiving any government funding, thereby wrecking his research career, while also vilifying him and pressuring others to do the same. According to fellow researchers quoted by Kennedy, Duesberg was destroyed as a warning and an example to others. Meanwhile, Fauci deployed his influence to have his critics banned from the major national media, ensuring that few outside a narrow segment of the scientific community ever even became aware of the continuing controversy.
These elements merely scrape the surface of Kennedy’s remarkable story and I would urge those interested to buy and read the book, then decide for themselves, an inexpensive option since the Kindle version sells for just $2.99. For further information, they can also consult the lengthy review we published a week ago by French writer Laurent Guyénot, which focuses on exactly the HIV/AIDS chapters that are the most explosive but under-reported elements:
I found the medical history presented by Kennedy absolutely extraordinary, representing as it did a near-total inversion of the scientific reality that I had always accepted until just a couple of weeks ago. I do vaguely recall that my newspapers had occasionally included some mention of these sorts of AIDS controversies 25 or 30 years ago, but I had assumed that such disputes had long since been resolved. Although I have now read all his AIDS chapters twice and found his narrative disturbingly credible and persuasive, I would obviously need to read several books on the other side before I could hope to form an intelligent opinion.
But suppose that despite Kennedy’s wealth of factual material we assume that there is an 80% chance that the theory he presents is overwhelmingly wrong. That necessarily means that there is also a 20% chance that it is substantially correct, and such a conclusion would be staggering. Prior to the Covid outbreak, AIDS had spent almost four decades as the world’s highest-profile disease, absorbing perhaps a couple of trillion dollars of funding and becoming the central focus of an army of scientists and medical experts. It simply boggles the mind for someone to suggest that HIV/AIDS might have largely been a hoax, and that the vast majority of deaths were not from the illness but from the drugs taken to treat it.
My science textbooks sometimes mentioned that during the benighted 18th century, leading Western physicians treated all manner of ailments with bleeding, a quack practice that regularly caused the deaths of their patients, with our own George Washington often numbered among the victims. Indeed, some have argued that for several centuries prior to modern times, standard medical treatments inadvertently took far more lives than they saved, and those too poor or backward to consult a doctor probably benefited from that lack. But I had never dreamed that this same situation might have occurred during the most recent decades of our modern scientific age.
According to Kennedy, the extremely lucrative nature of AZT and other early AIDS treatments blinded their manufacturers to the obvious harm they were inflicting, and that situation recalls the similar case of Vioxx, a heavily-marketed pain medication eventually removed from use. As I discussed in a 2012 article, Merck had continued to promote that very profitable drug in a massive advertising campaign long after learning of its sometimes deadly side-effects. By the time the FDA finally demanded that it be withdrawn, government studies indicated that Vioxx had already caused tens of thousands of premature deaths, while my own examination of the mortality statistics suggested that the true figure may have been in the hundreds of thousands.
- Chinese Melamine and American Vioxx: A Comparison
Ron Unz • The American Conservative • April 17, 2012 • 1,800 Words
Kennedy’s account emphasizes that those who challenged the reigning HIV/AIDS orthodoxy included top scientific experts, and Fauci and his allies overcame their criticism not by refuting their arguments but instead by blacklisting them in the media and working to destroy their careers. Just two weeks ago I had published an article discussing the very similar fate that befell leading journalists and scholars who had questioned establishmentarian doctrines on controversial political and historical topics, but I am surprised to discover this parallel in the supposedly more objective world of medical science.
- American Pravda: Giants Silenced by Pygmies
Ron Unz • The Unz Review • November 22, 2021 • 12,200 Words
In all these examples, powerful critiques by influential adversaries were greeted by absolute silence, and that silence suggested that the arguments they made were not easily refuted by evidence or logic. I now see exactly the same response to Kennedy’s national bestseller and the seemingly impossible “HIV/AIDS conspiracy theory” that it presents at such length.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is a top figure in America’s much-vilified anti-vaxx movement and his book is becoming a major element of that cause. His strident attacks against pharmaceutical companies, medical orthodoxy, and Fauci have earned him numerous, powerful enemies. If his AIDS claims were really as ridiculous as they might seem, would they not have already become a lightning rod for attacks against him? Suppose that his anti-vaxx tome had devoted 200 pages to arguing that our world was secretly controlled by invisible 12-foot-tall Reptilians from another dimension. Surely Kennedy’s enemies would have unleashed a huge storm of media ridicule against him for that lunacy, thereby discrediting his critique of vaccination campaigns. Yet instead complete silence has greeted his AIDS claims, raising questions in my mind of whether the medical establishment suspects that it has a great deal to hide and that many of Kennedy’s accusations might be correct.
As an outside observer with no special expertise in these areas of medicine, I was impressed by much of the material that Kennedy marshaled in support of his unorthodox views on vaccines and Covid treatments, but found that the evidence he provided on HIV and AIDS was vastly more comprehensive and persuasive, while being backed by far more authoritative experts. But if as he argues, the truth about HIV and AIDS has been successfully suppressed for decades by the entire medical industry, we must necessarily become very suspicious about other medical claims, including those regarding Covid and vaccinations.
I even wonder if this might not represent part of the hidden subtext of the bitter current battle over vaxxing and the almost paranoid reaction of so many opponents. Those who have challenged the official scientific dogma on AIDS have long since been driven out of the public square so that few who draw their information from the mainstream media are even aware of the dispute. But the sort of divergent theories presented by Kennedy have probably circulated for years within particular segments of the population, and these individuals have become firmly convinced that huge numbers of Americans died because the medical establishment inflicted the deadly AZT treatment to combat the harmless HIV virus. So they would now grow extremely suspicious when they learned that a low-mortality Covid virus was being treated by the widespread use of experimental new vaccines that had completely circumvented the usual testing process through a set of emergency waivers. After absorbing the remarkable contents of Kennedy’s important book, I think these are not unreasonable concerns to have.
Prior to opening his book, I’m not sure I’d ever read anything by Kennedy, and although he is in his late sixties and carries one of the most famous political names in modern American history, I was only slightly aware of his activities. Until about a decade ago, I had remained almost as ignorant of the true circumstances surrounding the assassinations of his famous father and uncle, casually accepting the soothing media narrative that both their tragic deaths had been at the hands of deranged lone gunmen. As I emphasized in my original American Pravda article, once we pierce our media veil of ignorance on several important matters, we should become much more willing to expect that other investigations will produce other surprises. Although his book deals with subjects outside my expertise and which I have never explored, I think it may be as important as any of the works of history and politics that I have read over the years. And although Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. has never held any public office, this book by itself demonstrates that he is absolutely worthy of his family name.