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Trump asks Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vaccine skeptic, to chair vaccine safety panel

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York on Tuesday.ANTHONY BEHAR/EPA

President-elect Donald Trump has asked Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a vocal vaccination skeptic, to chair a committee on “vaccine safety and scientific integrity,” Kennedy told reporters after his meeting at Trump Tower.

Kennedy, son of former Attorney General and New York Sen. Robert Kennedy, is an environmental activist and heads the Waterkeeper group to protect rivers.

He’s a vocal advocate for the belief that trace amounts of minerals in vaccines cause autism, a claim for which there is no evidence.

“President-elect Trump has some doubts about the current vaccine policies and he has questions about it,” Kennedy said of his meeting with Trump.


Trump has expressed skepticism about vaccines in the past. He has previously met with vaccination critics and in 2014 tweeted ‘‘Healthy young child goes to doctor, gets pumped with massive shot of many vaccines, doesn’t feel good and changes - AUTISM. Many such cases!’’

The claim has been denounced as dangerous by doctors.

Christina Prignano of the Globe staff contributed to this report.