Kennedy’s comments, made at a Washington rally on Sunday put on by his anti-vaccine nonprofit group, were widely condemned as offensive, outrageous and historically ignorant. Australian MPs George Christensen, Senators Alex Antic and Matt Canavan, United Australia Party MP Craig Kelly and One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts also participated in the online forum.
It’s the second time since 2015 that Kennedy has apologised for referencing the Holocaust during his work sowing doubt and distrust about vaccines.
“I apologise for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors,” Kennedy said in a tweet Tuesday morning. “My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.”
Kennedy’s wife, the actress Cheryl Hines of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, distanced herself from her husband in her own tweet about 20 minutes later. She called the reference to Anne Frank “reprehensible and insensitive”.