Environmental lawyer and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to run for president in 2024 as a Democrat.
The filing was confirmed Wednesday by his campaign treasurer, John E. Sullivan. Kennedy will officially announce his candidacy on April 19 in Boston, his campaign said.
The 69-year-old is the son of former New York senator, US attorney general and assassinated 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy and the nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy Jr. is a longtime vaccine skeptic. He has promoted discredited claims linking vaccines and autism and founded the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense. He has also railed against the coronavirus vaccine and has criticized the federal government’s handling of the pandemic.
In 2019, three members of his family – his sister Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, brother Joseph P. Kennedy II and niece Maeve Kennedy McKean – forcefully denounced his anti-vaccine views in a Politico Magazine op-ed, arguing that he was “part of a misinformation campaign that’s having heartbreaking – and deadly – consequences.”
In 2022, Kennedy Jr. invoked Nazi Germany in an anti-vaccine speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The previous year, Instagram took down his account “for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines.”
Kennedy had tweeted last month that he was considering a presidential run.
“If it looks like I can raise the money and mobilize enough people to win, I’ll jump in the race,” he said.
His tweet also pointed supporters to his website: “Let Bobby know you want to see his leadership in the White House,” the site says while asking for donations.