Jessica Biel joined the controversial anti-vaccination advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a California state pro-vaccine bill on Tuesday, revealed in several social media posts.
“Please say thank you to the courageous @jessicabiel for a busy and productive day at the California State House,” Kennedy posted on Tuesday with a series of pictures that also showed them talking with several legislators.
Biel came to join the lobby against SB 276, a state bill criticized by anti-vaccination advocates like Kennedy. If the bill were to pass, it would reduce medical exemptions from vaccinations that don’t have approval from state public health officers. Official estimates say the bill would cut down medical exemptions by about 40 percent.
Kennedy told The Daily Beast that he opposes the political red tape that he and Biel believe would force children to receive vaccinations.
“The biggest problem with the bill, which is something I think Jessica is concerned with, is that a doctor who has made a determination — if he has found children in this state whose doctors have determined that they’re too fragile to receive vaccinations — this bill would overrule the doctors and force them to be vaccinated anyways,” he said.
He also said Biel was “extremely well-informed” and that she’s “upset about this issue because of its particular cruelty” and “she has friends who have been vaccine-injured who would be forced to leave the state.”
Vaccination supporters say that not only are those with documented medical conditions already covered by the bill, but it is exactly those with medical conditions who need the rest of the population to be vaccinated in order to avoid infection.
Another photo showed Biel and Kennedy with California State Assembly member Autumn Burke, who also opposes the bill and voted “no” on SB 277, a stringent vaccination bill in 2015.
A well-known anti-vaccination activist, Kennedy has stirred controversy by writing articles and publishing books on the claim that vaccinations cause autism, a claim refuted by scientists. In May, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Joseph P. Kennedy and Maeve Kennedy McKean publicly stated that their relative “has helped to spread dangerous misinformation over social media and is complicit in sowing distrust of the science behind vaccines.”
Several other California politicians shared pictures of their discussions with Biel and Kennedy.