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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (Part 1): The Dark Secrets of the Childhood Immunization Schedule and the Vaccine Approval Process

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[FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW] “You have scientists who are supposed to be regulators who are actually making money on the product that they're supposed to be regulating.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the founder and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense and author of “The Real Anthony Fauci,” shares his journey from environmental activist to a fierce critic of the vaccine approval process in this comprehensive two-part interview. Not a single vaccine on the childhood immunization schedule has been tested against a true saline placebo, he argues.
How did we get to where we are today?
How is it that the Bill of Rights was essentially suspended during the pandemic?
And what role did America’s intelligence agencies and military-industrial complex play in all this?

PART TWO of this interview can be found here.


Jan Jekielek: Robert F. Kennedy Jr., such a pleasure to have you on American thought leaders.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Thank you for having me.
Mr. Jekielek: You wrote The Real Anthony Fauci, which I started listening to as an audio book, and it's actually 27 hours long. This is quite the opus.
Mr. Kennedy: I apologize.
Mr. Jekielek: It's a remarkable book, and it's actually much more than just about Dr. Anthony Fauci, but about the whole development of what's been dubbed the biopharmaceutical industrial complex. In the subtitle, you describe a global war on democracy and public health, and you chart that as well. Tell me about the genesis of this expansive tome.
Mr. Kennedy: I was in a unique position because I spent almost 40 years as an environmental advocate, and I had seen and written about extensively and litigated on this issue of agency capture, which is on the product of a conspiracy of mechanisms or panoply of mechanisms by which regulatory agencies become captured by the industries that they're supposed to regulate.
Instead of continuing to protect public health or financial integrity or the environment, they become sock puppets for the industry that they're supposed to regulate. When I began litigating and advocating on the vaccine issue in 2005, I was immediately dumbstruck by not only the level of agency capture within the public health agencies, but the financial entanglements, which were unprecedented in other agencies that basically put agency capture on steroids.
For example, the FDA [U. S. Food and Drug Administration] received 75 percent of its drug approval budget from the pharmaceutical industry. Almost 45 percent of its total budget comes from the pharmaceutical industry. Not only NIH [National Institutes of Health] as an agency, but individual scientists within NIH are allowed to patent drugs that they work on and then turn over to the pharmaceutical industry and collect royalties on them. Those scientists over the past decade or so have collected some $300 million in royalties.
You have scientists who are supposed to be regulators who are actually making money on the product that they're supposed to be regulating. They're paying their mortgage, they're paying their children's tuition, they're buying boats or whatever they're doing, and financing their retirement based upon products that they're supposed to be looking for problems with. There's an incentive for them to not find problems with those products, but rather to push them out, and to expand their reach. The regulatory function of these agencies becomes subsumed by the mercantile ambitions of the pharmaceutical companies that they regulate.
To give you another example, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has a $12 billion annual budget. Almost $5 billion of that goes to purchasing vaccines in secretive sweetheart deals with the big vaccine companies, and then compelling or persuading large numbers of people to take those vaccines, mainly children. It is 74 million children that CDC essentially has the power to mandate that they take vaccines. Many of them receive restrictions about attending the school and exercising other kinds of rights.
With the metrics at that agency, if you want a promotion or if you want a salary increase, you don't get that by finding a problem with a vaccine. You get that by showing that you've contributed to the expanded coverage of vaccine use. It's a perverse incentive for a regulatory agency, because it really makes them an arm of the industry rather than a functioning regulatory agency that's protecting public health. Anthony Fauci was really the embodiment of that institutional and systemic corruption.
You can look at the NIH or FDA, and there are famous scientists like Frankie Kelsey at FDA, the woman who blocked Thalidomide from coming to the United States when it was devastating European children. Bernice Eddie at NIH discovered that there was a carcinogenic virus called SV40 in 98 million polio vaccines and tried to raise the alarm about that. John Anthony Morris realized that the flu vaccine was actually counterproductive and was making people more likely to get flu-related infections and other respiratory infections, and it was also causing neurological injuries.
When Bernice Hadie, Frankie Kelsey and Morris reported those problems, instead of being given medals, they were punished. Their careers essentially ended. If you want to function and flourish at NIH or any of these regulatory agencies, the way to do that is by carrying water for the pharmaceutical industry. The reason that Anthony Fauci has lasted for 50 years is not because he's done a good job at protecting public health. It is because he's done a good job at protecting industry profits.
If you look at public health during that 50-year term, when he came into office about 6 percent of Americans had chronic disease. By chronic disease, I mean not only obesity, but neurological disease, allergic disease, and autoimmune disease. Fauci came on in 1968. By 1986, 11.8 percent of American children had chronic disease.
By 2006, that number had risen to 64 percent. That's his track record. What he claims is that he's protecting Americans from infectious disease, but he rarely talks about the impact of chronic disease, which is much more devastating than infectious disease.
The vaccines scheduled during that period went from the three vaccines that I took when I was a kid, and I was fully compliant, to 72 doses that are mandated today from 16 vaccines. The question is, how has that made Americans healthier? In 2000, the CDC did a study with Johns Hopkins University, the principal author named Guyer, G-U-Y-E-R.
They looked at this question, “Did vaccines have anything to do with a decline in mortalities from infectious diseases with this momentous decline, a 70 or 80 percent decline in mortality from infectious diseases between 1900 and the present?” The question is, “Did vaccines have anything to do with that?”
The CDC study found that the vaccines had almost nothing to do with it. Instead of physicians and scientists being responsible for that reduction, it had been engineers. It was greater sanitation, the roads that brought food like oranges and citrus to northern cities, better nutrition, better sewage treatment plants, chlorination of water and a number of other engineering advances that were really responsible for the decline in death and mortality from infectious disease.
That doesn't mean that vaccines did not reduce the occurrence of infectious disease. A measles vaccine can stop you from getting measles, at least when you're a child, but it isn't making you healthier, and it isn't making you more likely to live a long and healthy life. That question is a question that Anthony Fauci has never answered. There's a lot of evidence that vaccines are not likely to give you an extended life. In fact, they are likely to shorten your life and make it less enriching and make you a less effective human being.
Mr. Jekielek: What you're describing here stands in the face of what everybody is supposed to know. Vaccines in general save 2 to 3 million lives a year, is what's typically said. Then of course, there's the question of these new genetic vaccine products. How do they fit into the picture?
Mr. Kennedy: Let me answer your first question first. There are a lot of claims about vaccines and how many lives they have saved. There is very, very little science to support that. I'll give you an example. Vaccines themselves are exempt from pre-licensure safety testing. Vaccines are not tested for safety against placebos in any kind of functioning trial prior to being approved. And the reason for that is because vaccines are regulated differently than other medicines.
It really has to do with the CDC's legacy as the public health service. The United States Public Health Service is a military organization. It's one of the five uniform military services, and it's the predecessor of the CDC. The Public Health Service originally launched the vaccine program as a national security defense against biological attacks on our country.
They wanted to make sure if the Russians attacked America with anthrax or some other biological or pathogenic weapon, that we could quickly formulate a vaccine and deploy it to 200 million American civilians without any regulatory impediments. They originally said, “If we call it a medicine, we're going to have to do a placebo-controlled trial, and that will take five years.”
Why do they take five years? Because many of the injuries that come from vaccines, like all medicines, are long-term injuries. You may say that the vaccine prevented the infection, but then you don't count the cancers, the neurological disorders, the ADHD, and the autoimmune diseases that pop up five years from now. You need long-term studies.
But they didn't want to do those because they felt there was an urgency to deploying them quickly. They said, “If we call it a medicine, we're going to have to do a long-term study. Instead, we'll call it a biologic, and we'll make biologics exempt from long-term safety studies.” None of the 72 doses of vaccines that are currently mandated for children have ever been tested in a pre-licensing safety study against a true placebo.
I said that for many, many years. Tony Fauci was publicly saying that I was inaccurate and that was vaccine misinformation. So, we sued them, me and Aaron Siri, who is one of my colleagues who's an attorney. After a year of stonewalling us on that lawsuit, we said, “Show us one placebo-controlled study for any vaccine.” After a year of stonewalling and sandbagging us, they acknowledged on the courthouse steps that there were none and they put that in writing. We have that writing posted on CHD's website now.
Here's an example, and this is what I worry about. For many years Bill Gates and the WHO [World Health Organization] have pushed children to receive DTP [Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis] vaccine. It is the most popular vaccine in the world because of their efforts, because of Bill Gates' efforts. In 2016, he went to the Danish government with this vaccine and said, “You should give us money.”
Incidentally, we withdrew that vaccine in the 1980s in this country because it was killing so many children. It was causing brain damage according to a NIH study that was done by UCLA. We ended it in the United States. We replaced it with a DTaP vaccine, an attenuated version, which is safer, but less effective. They did the same thing in Europe.
While it was essentially banned for white children all across the world, Bill Gates and the WHO were giving it to African and Asian children. The Danish government, knowing that they were not using this vaccine in Denmark, said, “Can you show us a study that shows this is actually saving lives?” Bill Gates was unable to do that.
Then, the Danish government said, “We're going to do this study.” They went to Africa where the Danish have these extensive, very good clinics across Western Africa. They had 30 years of vaccination records. They brought in the best scientists in the world; Peter Aaby, who's a kind of a deity of the African vaccine program, the Sigrid Morgan Center, and a number of other very famous, highly respected pro-vaccination scientists. They did a study looking at 30 years of records.
What they found was that children, that girls who had received that vaccine were 10 times more likely to die than unvaccinated children. They were dying not of things that anybody had ever associated with the vaccine. Incidentally, they were protected hints against diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis which were the target pathogens. But they were dying of anemia and bilharzia and malaria and dysentery and pulmonary respiratory issues like pneumonia. Nobody had ever connected the dots.
It was not until these Danish scientists came in and actually looked at the data over 30 years that they realized, “Holy cow, this vaccine is killing more people than diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis did prior to the introduction of the vaccine.
That's the danger. You could have a vaccine for 30 or 40 years and nobody actually notices that the kids who are taking it are worse off from a health perspective, because you have never done the placebo-controlled trials. That is a big problem, and it's a problem that's endemic. In the whole field of vaccinology, they never do that trial.
Mr. Jekielek: It strains credulity that such an obvious type of test wouldn't be done. There is safety information on every vaccine in the insert. We hear that it takes 10 years to develop a vaccine. Joseph Lalapo, whose book you have here I noticed, writes that the way that vaccines are taught to medical students is with a kind of reverence. Having been in the midst of the COVID pandemic and looking at the response to it has caused a whole lot of us to start looking more deeply at these things that you've been looking at for a lot longer.
Mr. Kennedy: Medical students are taught very briefly about vaccines. Dr. Meryl Nass told me that in medical school she had less than an hour about vaccines, and it was all about how to administer them and the timing of administering them. There was no mention of vaccine injuries or how to recognize vaccine injuries or that we ought to be looking for vaccine injuries and that you need to report vaccine injuries. That was never taught.
If you look at a vaccine insert, it could have, for example, the MMR [Measles, Mumps, Rubella] vaccine probably has 60 or 70 injuries listed. At one point, because of a lawsuit, I actually had to go through all of the vaccine inserts for the mandatory vaccines that are now given to children between birth and 18 years old. There were 420 listed side effects, including deaths and paralysis and brain damage, and even autism is listed now. That is the one place where they tell the truth, the vaccine companies.
The 1986 Vaccine Act made it illegal to sue a vaccine company for negligence. Today, the law is that, no matter how grievously injured you are, no matter how reckless the conduct, no matter how negligent the conduct, you cannot sue that company. The one place that you can sue them is if they knew about an injury and they failed to list it on their manufacturer's insert. The manufacturer's inserts actually tell the truth there.
By the way, one of the things the industry likes to say is that we just throw everything and the kitchen sink in there to protect us from liability. But that's not true. The federal law says that they're not allowed to list the vaccine injury on that manufacturer's insert unless the FDA makes a determination that the vaccine is the probable cause of that injury. You have all these really atrocious industry injuries that most doctors never read, and they certainly don't read them to the patients before giving them the vaccine.
Doctors basically are told that these are miracle technologies. They've saved millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of lives, but there is no science that supports that. There just simply is no science that supports that. There is a lot of science that supports the fact, the supposition that most of these vaccines, not all of them, but most of them, are causing more injuries and deaths than they are averting.
Mr. Jekielek: Before we continue, I want to chart how you got to where you are today. This is your main issue, it would seem, because once upon a time, your main issue was environmental pollution. The regulatory capture you were looking at was the oil industry’s capture of agencies. Maybe just chart a bit earlier how you got into this, and what you saw and then how that eventually led you to today.
Mr. Kennedy: I got into this unwillingly, kicking and screaming. It has not been a good career choice for me for social life or friendships. It has cost me a lot in terms of my family relationships, friend relationships, business deals and political relationships, which, by the way, I'm not complaining about, but it's a fact.
I ran the biggest water protection group in the world, and it is a group that I helped to build. It's called the Waterkeeper Alliance. We have 350 water keepers on waterways in 46 countries, including about seven in China. We patrol them in boats, and we look for polluters and then we litigate against the polluters. We're really a law enforcement organization. We have really good environmental laws in most countries.
The problem is that the industry captures the regulators. The laws are never enforced, but a lot of the laws allow individuals, when the government fails to act, to step into the shoes of the prosecutor and prosecute the polluters themselves. Those are the laws that we take advantage of.
Around 2003, the report said that every freshwater fish in North America had dangerous levels of mercury in its flesh, and that one out of every six American women had enough mercury in her core blood to essentially guarantee that her children would suffer some kind of brain damage, at least a couple of permanent IQ point losses. This was an environmental problem and a public health problem.
My group originally represented fishermen. This struck me at the time and many others that we were living in a science fiction nightmare where my children and the children of every other American could now no longer engage in the seminal, primal activity of American youth, which is to go fishing with their mom or dad and then come home and safely eat the fish.
We started suing the contributors to this pollution, the culprits, which were mainly coal burning power plants and cement kilns. Those were the biggest contributors. There is the mining industry as well that contributes to mercury in fish in the western states, but mainly in the U.S. and the provinces of Canada, it was the power plants. At that point, I had almost 40 lawsuits from different water keepers and I was going around the U.S. and Canada.
We were pushing legislation to reform it and to get rid of the mercury. I was speaking regularly as an advocate, oftentimes to large groups of people. What I noticed is that these women started showing up at all my speeches. They would occupy the front row, and then they would come up to me afterward. They were the mothers of intellectually disabled children, and they all believed that mercury vaccines had caused their child's injuries.
Mr. Jekielek: Mercury in vaccines.
Mr. Kennedy: Yes. There are certain vaccines that had mercury in them, and some vaccines don't. But the dead virus vaccines mainly had mercury in them, like Hepatitis B, DTP, Hip vaccines and some of the others had mercury in them. They believed that those vaccines had caused their child's injuries. They would say to me, in a kind of very respectful, but vaguely scolding way, “If you're genuinely interested in mercury exposure to children, you need to look at vaccines.”
It was not something that I wanted to do. I did not want to get into a public health issue. My family had been deeply involved in the area of intellectual disabilities and public health, and I had chosen a different path for myself, which was this water protection. One of these women was a psychologist from Minnesota named Sarah Bridges, who showed up at my house in the summer of 2005 in Hyannis, Massachusetts.
I had a little bungalow there and she found me. She took out of her trunk a stack of published scientific studies, about 10 inches deep. She put them on my front stoop and said, “I'm not going to leave here until you read these.”
Her son had been a healthy child who had gotten a mercury vaccine when he was two and was permanently disabled very badly, and was non-verbal and non-toilet trained. At that time, he was about 16 or 17 years old, and he had received $20 million from the vaccine court. The vaccine court had recognized that his autism came from the vaccine.
This was early on before the ideology clamped down and you weren't allowed to say that anymore. She didn't want that to happen to other children. So, I sat there. I grew up loving science. I wanted to be a scientist when I was a kid or a veterinarian. My job is about reading science because I bring environmental cases. I brought up many hundreds of them. In almost every one of those cases there's a scientific controversy.
I have to be able to read science, and I know how to read it critically. I began reading just the abstracts for these studies that she put there. They were dumbfounding, and they were breathtaking. I was just immediately dumbstruck by the huge delta between what the public health agencies were saying about vaccine safety, and what the actual published peer reviewed science was saying.
I spent the next week calling high-level health officials. One of the advantages I have because of my name, my relationships, my family and my uncle Teddy Kennedy who was my godfather, was that he ran the health committee for 50 years in the United States Senate. He wrote the budget, he created some of these agencies, and he wrote the budgets for them every year.
He knew Tony Fauci, Francis Collins, and everybody else. My uncle and father had written a lot of the legislation that created those agencies. There are institutions within NIH, the Eunice Shriver and Rose Kennedy Institutes that are named for members of my family. I was able to get these people on the phone and I began asking them specifically about the studies.
I recognized the top regulators were simply not conversant with the science. They just simply had not read it. A couple of them actually lied to me and I caught them in the lies. The weird thing was that the regulators, like Francis Collins, Kathleen Stratton from the Institute of Medicine, and Marie McCormick said to me, “I don't know the answer to those questions, you should call Paul Offit.”
Paul Offit is a vaccine maker who's a partner at Merck. I was baffled by that. Because if I called the EPA and said to the EPA, “Tell me why you passed this regulation, which doesn't seem to make sense in light of the science I'm looking at,” they would answer that question. They wouldn't tell me, “Go talk to a coal official, a coal company CEO.” But that's what the health regulators said.
They sent me to Paul Offit, who was a vaccine maker and insider. At that point I was kind of getting sucked down a wormhole, because I was getting angry as I could tell the regulators were doing. I was reading the science that said, “This is entering children, it's killing their brains.” I was talking to regulators who had no explanation or excuse. That was the beginning of my journey.
Mr. Jekielek: I have to ask what it was like growing up in the Kennedy family?
Mr. Kennedy: That's a switch. To me, I had the greatest childhood. I've written about my childhood in a book called American Values. My childhood was exciting. From when I was little I felt fully engaged with what was happening in this country. We knew that what we were seeing on a day-to-day basis was part of the history of our country. My parents talked to us about history and literature and values every day. We were all raised with this notion that our lives would be consumed by some great controversy, and that we would be very privileged if we got to take some meaningful part in it.
Mr. Jekielek: It seems that that came true.
Mr. Kennedy: For better or worse.
Mr. Jekielek: One of the things I've been discussing with a few of our editors and contributors about what to talk to Robert F. Kennedy Jr. about is that there was this social contract in the U.S. where the distance between the people in charge of the country and the people wasn't that far apart. There was an ability to dialogue. What we've been learning lately is that distance seems to be a lot further apart than many of us had expected.
We've also been learning, going back to your uncle's assassination in the 1960s, that U.S. agencies may have been involved way back then. There are people even asking, “Do we even live in a democracy today?” The Global War on Democracy is the subtitle of The Real Anthony Fauci book. I want to get your thoughts on what has happened over this time? Did something change at that time that we weren't aware of? Is this still the country that most of the world is clamoring to get into, because it represents freedom and democracy and a bright future?
Mr. Kennedy: Yes, I think something did change when my uncle died. When I was seven years old on January 17th, 1961, my birthday, President Eisenhower made what was probably, and what I look at today, as the most important speech in American history. It was his farewell speech to the nation.
Speaker: “To the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military industrial complex.”
Mr. Kennedy: Three days later, my uncle John Kennedy would take the oath of office and I would be there attending that. But Eisenhower gave this wonderful speech in which he warned America against the emergence of a military industrial complex, a permanent war industry, and an associated federal science technocracy, which he specifically mentioned, that would soon emerge if we did not constrain it, and dominate American democracy and rob us of all of our values and all the things that are important about our country.
My uncle quickly realized that Eisenhower had captured the most important issue of our time. He realized this during the Bay of Pigs invasion. In the middle of that invasion, he realized that his joint chiefs of staff, Curtis LeMay and Louis Lemnitzer, plus the CIA, particularly Alan Dulles and Charles Cabell and Richard Bissell, had lied to his face about the invasion. They had made a series of lies in order to trick him two-and-a-half months into his presidency into making that invasion when they knew that it would fail.
They believed that he would be embarrassed. He would be a young president. In order to avert the humiliation of that failure, he would call in the United States Navy, and in particular the aircraft carrier Essex, and he would order air support to topple Castro. My uncle refused to do that.
That afternoon, he said to one of his aides, while he stood in the Oval Office, “I want to take the CIA and crush it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” Over the next several months, he fired all of the heads of the CIA, Charles Cabell, Richard Bissell, and Alan Dulles, who ironically, would later sit on the Warren Commission and run it.
He spent the next three years of his presidency in hand-to-hand combat with his own military industrial complex and his intelligence apparatus trying to keep our country out of war, which they wanted us to get into because that's their business. He refused to send combat troops into Laos. They already thought he was a traitor.
He refused to confront the Russians. He organized a withdrawal of the Russians by contacting Krushchev directly from the Berlin Wall for the Checkpoint Charlie conflict. He refused to send combat troops to Vietnam, despite being surrounded by virtually everybody on his cabinet, all of the joint chiefs, all the intelligence agencies and the senior bureaucrats like Dean Acheson who were telling him, “We need to send 250,000 to 500,000 US troops in Vietnam.”
He said, “It's their war. We can support them, we can train them, but we're not going to send combat troops.” By the end of his presidency, despite this extraordinary pressure, he had sent 16,000 advisors who were not technically allowed. They were not allowed to participate in combat, although many of them did illegally.
Just before he died, in October of 1963, he issued a national security order ordering all the troops home from Vietnam, with the first thousand coming home prior to December, 1964, and the other 15,000 home by the end of 1965. That may be the order that sealed his fate.
He was asked one time by one of his best friends, Ben Bradley, who ran the Washington Post, what he wanted on his gravestone, the epithet he wanted on his gravestone. He said that he had kept the peace. He said, “The primary job of an American president is to keep the country out of war,” which is exactly what President Eisenhower said. And he did that.
And of course, as soon as he died, the intelligence agencies in the Navy concocted a false flag, essentially, called the Tonkin Gulf incident and used that as a pretext for Americanizing the Vietnam War. Immediately after that, President [Johnson] sent 250,000 U.S. troops and it became an American war. My father then ran against [Johnson] on the war issue, and against the military industrial complex, and he was killed in the process.
Martin Luther King also came out against the war. Martin Luther King was surrounded by other civil rights leaders who said that we shouldn't get involved in the Vietnam War. “It's not a civil rights issue.” He said the thing that my father repeatedly said, and that my grandfather had said, “America cannot be an imperial state abroad and continue to be a constitutional democracy at home. If you are imperial, you cannot be a democracy at home.”
King took the position that our primary objective must be ending the Vietnam War because as long as the military industrial complex was running our country, we would not have a system of justice at home. We'd have an excuse to turn America into a police state, a surveillance state, a national security state. He was killed two months before my father.
As soon as my dad died, Nixon doubled the amount of people who were involved in the war and kept it going. Most of the people who died in Vietnam died after that. When my uncle was killed, there had been 73 Americans who were killed over there and he said, “That's it.” That's when he died, after the national security order.
We lost 53,000 people. The Vietnamese lost millions, and Cambodians lost millions in that conflict. My father's death was also a turning point. Again, the military industrial complex increased its power. We became more and more of a surveillance state at home, and a national security state.
The next really big change occurred on 9/11. The Cold War was over. We were supposed to get a peace dividend. In 1992, the Cold War ended, and we were supposed to get a peace dividend. We were supposed to beat our swords into plow shares. We would stop making Stealth bombers that cost a billion dollars and couldn't fly in the rain.
We would put that money into schools, into roads, into police protection, into the environment, and into rebuilding the gutted middle class in this country and rebuilding the structures and institutions of American democracy. In the next year, we had the first World Trade Center attack. The next thing that happened was 9/11. By the end of that decade, we had 888 military bases abroad. That's an imperial nation.
I would say the final blow in this coup d'etat against democracy by the military medical industrial complex and by the biosecurity agenda was Covid19, when America really got rid of our Bill of Rights. The government began censoring speech for the first time in American history. Once you censored speech, Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton and Adams all said the same thing; “We put free expression in the First Amendment, because all of the other amendments and rights depend on it. If a government has the right to censor its critics and silence its critics, it has license for every atrocity.”
They asserted that power successfully to suppress dissent. They closed all the churches for a year with no scientific citation and no regulatory process. There were no hearings, there was no environmental impact statement, there was no rationale that anybody could see or challenge in any way that they could do that.
They got rid of freedom of assembly, which is also in the First Amendment, by the social distancing dictates. They went after property rights for the Fifth Amendment, shutting down 3.3 million businesses with no due process and no just compensation, in total violation of the Constitution. They then went after jury trials, the Seventh Amendment.
They made it so that if you are one of thousands of companies providing vaccines, masks, PCR tests, or other countermeasures, no matter how negligent or reckless they behave, you cannot sue them. Here's what the Seventh Amendment says; “No Americans shall be deprived of the right to a trial before a jury of his peers in cases or their controversies exceeding $25 in value.” There is no pandemic exception. It says if a corporation hurts you, you get to sue them. But suddenly, we couldn't do that anymore.
By the way, the framers of the Constitution knew all about pandemics. There were two pandemics in the Revolutionary War, one of them that decimated the army of Virginia, a malaria epidemic. Then, there was a smallpox epidemic that disabled and froze the army of New England at a critical time when we fought in Montreal. Benedict Arnold's army took Montreal, and Canada today would be part of the United States except for that smallpox epidemic.
Between the time of the end of the revolution and the passage of or the approval of the Bill of Rights and the U.S. Constitution, there were epidemics in every city in our country that killed tens of thousands of people. There was smallpox, yellow fever, and cholera in all of the cities. And yet, the framers decided not to put an epidemic exception into the Constitution. We've had much worse tragedies than Covid19.
We had this civil war that killed 669,000 Americans, the equivalent of 10 million today, that almost destroyed our country. Our country was this close to being decimated. And yet, when Lincoln tried to suspend Habeas Corpus, the Supreme Court said he couldn't do it.
The Spanish flu epidemic, which killed 50 million people around the world, dwarfs the COVID pandemic. We still did not suspend the Constitution. Suddenly, it became okay to suspend the Constitution. That's pretty hard to explain.
Coming up next on American Thought Leaders.
Mr. Kennedy: If you look at these simulations, and again and again, they're practicing one thing.
Mr. Jekielek: In part two of my interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., founder and chief legal counsel of Children's Health Defense, he explains how U.S. government tools developed for influencing overseas populations were deployed on Americans.
Mr. Kennedy: The CIA has become a government within our government and really a tumor on our system.
Mr. Jekielek: What does he think about allegations the CIA was involved in the assassination of his uncle, John F. Kennedy? At a time when many have lost faith in the American system, how do we restore power to the American people and rekindle American ideals? This is American thought leaders and I'm Jan Jekielek.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.