Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. lashed out at former President Donald Trump Tuesday, blasting him over what appears to be his deep ties to Big Pharma.
“Donald Trump owns stock in Pfizer and J&J, who bought fancy tickets to his inauguration and placed pharma shills high in his administration,” Kennedy tweeted, linking to a separate tweet from a journalist detailing what he framed as a number of conflicts of interest between Trump and the pharmaceutical industry during his time in the White House.
“That’s how Washington works. It is not the exception, but the rule. It is a form of legalized bribery,” Kennedy added. “This kind of thing is so normalized that a lot of people take it for granted as normal. I promise you, corruption will no longer be normal when I am President.”
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The journalist Kennedy referenced, Pedro Gonzalez of Chronicles Magazine, noted in his tweet Pfizer’s donation of $1 million to Trump’s presidential inauguration committee following his election victory in 2016.
Gonzalez also pointed to the subsequent nominations of former Trump administration officials Scott Gottlieb and Alex Azar, and their connections to the pharmaceutical industry as an executive and lobbyist respectively. He then mentioned the former president’s financial disclosure forms submitted last month showing he owns stock in Pharma giants Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Gonzalez claimed Trump “killed” plans for a vaccine safety commission, which he said would have included Kennedy, because of his connections to Big Pharma. The group, according to a 2018 report by The Guardian, was intended to be made up of vaccine skeptics and was going to investigate a potential link between childhood vaccinations and autism.
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Kennedy maintains he was contacted by the Trump White House to be a part of the group, but then said he stopped hearing from the White House after a number of meetings with Trump’s transition team, according to The Guardian’s report.
“Trump bragged last year about how huge the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical fortune is after the company received $1 billion for Operation Warp Speed. He protested when the J&J drug was temporarily pulled off the market when people kept dying in connection to it before it was completely nixed this year,” Gonzalez added.
Fox News Digital confirmed Pfizer’s 2016 donation to Trump’s inauguration committee through Federal Election Commission records.
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Fox reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but did not receive a response.