No, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. did not win a U.S. Supreme Court case against “all the pharmaceutical lobbyists” in which the court ruled that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause “irreparable” damage: Posts recycle baseless claim about mRNA vaccine SCOTUS case | AP News


Excerpts from:

August 30, 2022

The Supreme Court hasn’t ruled that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause “irreparable” damage, as recent social media posts baselessly claim. The falsehood is similar to a claim debunked in 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

CLAIM: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. won a U.S. Supreme Court case against “all the pharmaceutical lobbyists” in which the court ruled that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines cause “irreparable” damage.

AP’S ASSESSMENT: False. There has been no such Supreme Court ruling, according to the court’s comprehensive online archive of opinions. Kennedy, a lawyer who has advocated against vaccines, told The Associated Press in 2021 that articles sharing similar claims were false. At the time, he said he had been involved in dozens of lawsuits regarding vaccine safety, but none had reached the Supreme Court.

THE FACTS: The baseless claim about Kennedy winning a Supreme Court case related to COVID-19 vaccine safety has circulated online for more than a year, driven by fringe blog posts in multiple languages.

Versions of the claim reemerged on Twitter this month. The posts share an image of Kennedy alongside a paragraph of text purportedly describing the recent ruling. The text contains several spelling, capitalization and grammatical errors.

“Supreme Court ruling hardly anyone noticed that Kennedy Jnr won the case against all the pharmaceutical lobbyists,” the text inside the image reads. “In the ruling, the supreme court confirms that the damage caused by Covid mRNA gene therapies is irreparable. As the Supreme Court is the highest court in the United States there and no further appeals and the appeals have been exhausted.”

“Why was this news not Front page headlines?” wrote one Twitter user who shared the image.

But a search of the Supreme Court’s opinion archive shows that no such ruling exists. All of the court’s rulings from its term in 2020, which would have encompassed the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2021, the most recent term, can be found on its website. None of the cases have to do with the safety of mRNA vaccines, or mention Kennedy Jr.

Older versions claimed that Kennedy and a group of scientists led a legal challenge against billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates; Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert; and “Big Pharma,” in which the Supreme Court ruled COVID-19 vaccines were unsafe and ultimately “canceled universal vaccination.” That claim originated on blogs that regularly publish hoaxes and misinformation and later spread across social media platforms.


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