Robert F Kennedy blames Aids on poppers and claims chemicals turn kids trans

Presidential hopeful Robert F. Kennedy Jr, who is contesting the Democrat nomination for the 2024 US election, has claimed that children are being turned trans through chemical exposure, and poppers were a pathway to Aids.

The conspiracy theorist’s claims were made in two recently unearthed videos that were posted to, and gained significant traction on, social media this month.

In one video shared on Twitter, the nephew of former US president John F. Kennedy and son of the slain attorney general Bobby Kennedy – is seen speaking to a crowd, alleging that the deaths of those who died during the early years of the Aids epidemic were “mainly because of poppers”, referring to the widely available and legal inhalant, which can relax the sphincter muscles.

He was repeating a theory spread during the early 1980s when researchers had not identified HIV. However, more recent studies thoroughly disprove any link between poppers and the virus or Aids.

Kennedy claims that 100 per cent of the “first thousand” people to die “were addicted to poppers”.

He continues by saying these were people who were “part of a gay lifestyle where they were burning the candle at both ends”, and were “taking a lot of injectable drugs”.

You may like to watch

He also claims it was not a viral disease, but an “environmental” one, and that Dr Anthony Fauci, who became the director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in 1984, called it viral so he could take control of it.

Aids is not caused by poppers, it stems from the progression of human immunodeficiency virus HIV, which is a viral disease.

Illustration of two bottles of poppers
Among Kennedy’s wild claims is one blaming an addiction to poppers for some of the earliest HIV deaths. (PinkNews)

In another video, from an interview with controversial media pundit Jordan Peterson, Kennedy starts talking about how he believes issues such as depression and “sexual dysphoria” in children – particularly boys – comes from “chemical exposure”. He claims youngsters are “swimming through a soup of toxic chemicals”.

He goes on to talk about the common herbicide, atrazine, saying: “If you, in a lab, put atrazine in a tank full of frogs, it will chemically castrate and forcibly feminise every frog in there, and 10 per cent of the frogs, the male frogs, will turn into fully viable females able to produce viable eggs.”

He further alleges that if it was doing that to frogs, “there’s a lot of other evidence that it’s doing it to human beings as well”.

As reported by Advocate, his claim stems from a 2010 study – pushed particularly by hard-line right-wing radio show host Alex Jones, highlighting a supposed government conspiracy to turn people gay – which looked into the causes of a worldwide decline in amphibian population.

However, the US National Pesticide Information Center states that atrazine is “low in toxicity” when inhaled or ingested and “does not alter or damage genes in humans or animals”.

Please login or register to comment on this story.