His anti-vax crusade is paved with gold.
Robert Kennedy Jr., who rails against vaccines of all types, has pocketed nearly half a million dollars a year from charities he runs and stands to earn millions more from his best-selling screed trashing pandemic czar Anthony Fauci.
His biggest haul came from the anti-vax organization Children’s Health Defense, which paid him $345,561 as chairman in 2020 — a raise of more than $90,000 from 2019, according to the group’s latest tax filings.
This after the 68-year-old lawyer and nephew of former president John F. Kennedy paid himself nothing in 2016, when he joined the Georgia-based non-profit, which aggressively campaigns against inoculating children against COVID-19 and other diseases.
He also took home $116,683 in 2019 as president of the Riverkeeper Alliance, the environmental charity he founded in 1999 that aims to clean up the Hudson and where he heads the board of directors. That’s down from his $226,000 salary in 2018, according to the group’s most recent returns.
But those figures could be dwarfed from the massive earnings of “The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health,” in which Kennedy slams the infectious disease expert for allegedly committing “a historic coup d’etat against western democracy.”
The diatribe is amassing millions in revenue, selling nearly 390,000 hardback copies at $32.50 each, according to NPD BookScan, plus 185,000 e-books and 142,000 audio books since its Nov. 17 release, said Tony Lyons, who heads Skyhorse Publishing Inc., the book’s publisher. Skyhorse just ordered another 150,000 print copies.
Authors typically receive 20 to 30 percent in royalties on hardcover sales, which would translate to a windfall of $2.5 million to $3.8 million for Kennedy, plus additional money from any advance and e-book sales, but it’s not clear how much the author has earned.
Whatever his total take, the square-jawed scion is giving his cut to Children’s Health Defense, according to Rita Shreffler, the outfit’s spokeswoman, speaking on behalf of Kennedy.
Kennedy has long opposed vaccines, and has publicly lobbied against their use in children — a controversial stance that’s gotten him kicked off Instagram and into trouble with his wife, actress Cheryl Hines.
“It is criminal medical malpractice to give a child one of these vaccines,” he railed at a California anti-vax event last year. (Kennedy has said he got interested in the subject in 2005 after a mother told him her son contracted autism from the mercury in a vaccine, a claim that scientists have debunked.)
Hines said she was appalled by a speech he gave last week at the Lincoln Memorial, where Kennedy implied that those who oppose vaccines are being persecuted more severely than Anne Frank, the German teen who hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam before being sent to her death at Auschwitz.
“Even in Hitler’s Germany you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did,” he said. “Today, the mechanisms are being put in place to make it so that none of us can run and none of us can hide.”
Kennedy was slammed for the comparison by Hines, his third wife, who stars on “Curb Your Enthusiasm.”
“My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in D.C. was reprehensible and insensitive,” Hines wrote on Twitter. He’s also been ripped by Kennedy family members.
Kennedy has since apologized in a tweet to his more than 400,000 Twitter followers.
Last year, he was named one of the “Disinformation Dozen” by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a British non-profit that tracks conspiracy theories and misinformation across the globe.