Jessica Biel was photographed yesterday in the California State Assembly alongside environmental activist and anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy. As Jezebel first reported, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. posted a series of Instagram posts that show the two lobbying lawmakers together. Robert called Biel “courageous” for participating in a “busy and productive day at the California State House”.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has been criticized in recent years for supporting the Anti-Vaxxer movement through his work with the Children’s Health Defense, an “environment organization” whose stated mission is “to end the childhood health epidemics by working aggressively to eliminate harmful exposures, hold those responsible accountable, and establish safeguards so this never happens again.”
One of their big platforms is “Vaccine Safety” for which Robert F. Kennedy is their main spokesperson. The Children’s Health Defense has consistently lobbied against vaccinations and alleges that they contain chemicals that are dangerous to children. In a recent interview with STAT, Kennedy Jr. claimed that vaccines aren’t tested properly and contain toxic amounts of mercury and aluminum. STAT challenged Kennedy Jr. on his unfounded statements and corrected them in a subsequent article.
Robert F. Kennedy was also one of the lawyers for a group of anonymous parents that recently sued New York over emergency vaccination orders. The mandatory vaccination orders were put into place after a measles epidemic spread through Williamsburg, infecting 285 people so far. The parents claim to have a religious objection to the vaccines.
According to the Daily Beast, Robert Kennedy Jr. brought Biel along to lobby against SB276, a bill that limits medical exemptions from vaccinations without a public health official’s prior approval. The legislation is authored by state senator and pediatrician Dr. Richard Pan with the goal of increasing oversight of medical exemptions. It will no longer allow parents to avoid vaccinations with a simple doctor’s note. California’s vaccination rate has dropped for the second year in a row which presents a laundry list of potential health concerns for the state.
Jessica Biel previously said that she and Justin Timberlake would not be vaccinating their son. A friend of Biel’s told InTouch Weekly that “Jessica is refusing to vaccinate him. She feels that vaccination could cause complications.” The actress has not made a public statement or come out officially as an anti-vaxxer.
Twitter Reacts to Anti-Vaxx
Although Jessica Biel has not labeled herself as an “anti-vaxxer” or personally spoken against SB276, Twitter is taking her support of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as an endorsement. Reactions from users on Twitter were overwhelmingly negative.
Justin Timberlake received criticism as well. Though not directly involved, he turned into collateral damage from Biel’s lobbying efforts.
Neither Jessica Biel nor her PR reps have released a statement responding to her presence at the California State Assembly or clarified her position on vaccinations as of yet.