New Anti-vaccine Documentary on Racism in Healthcare Is Full of Harmful Falsehoods
Mar 18, 2021
Medical Racism: The New Apartheid is a new documentary being promoted by anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Rather than shed light on the very real racism in healthcare, it uses falsehoods and misrepresentations to villainize vaccines.
Systemic racism in medicine and public health is a serious and urgent issue — and one we’ve talked about before. But this latest documentary is part of a larger trend to target marginalized communities with misinformation about vaccines. At its heart, the film exploits and misleads, falsely tying modern vaccines to historical atrocities like the Tuskegee study, in order to discourage Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) from getting vaccinated.
What it fails to acknowledge is how a drop in vaccination rates will deepen health disparities in communities of color — communities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.
We desperately need to fix racism in healthcare. Scaring people away from vaccines isn’t how we get there.
Vaxopedia, a website by pediatrician Dr. Vincent Ianelli with information about vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, recently broke down the falsehoods in RFK Jr.’s latest project:
“If you have been following what Robert F. Kennedy, Jr has been up to lately, you can probably predict that most of his new film, Medical Racism: The New Apartheid, isn’t actually about medical racism…it is just more misinformation and propaganda from Kennedy, mostly about vaccines.” For more information about the claims in this film, read Vaxopedia’s full review here.
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