How Censorship, Corruption, And Greed Are Keeping Us Sick And Divided - Transcript

Introduction: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Pharmacy.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: We have the highest healthcare bills on the planet and the worst outcomes of any industrial nation. We pay 4.3 trillion dollars a year in healthcare. It's bankrupting us. 80% of that is from chronic disease, and that's something that we have some control over.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to the Doctor's Pharmacy. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman, and that's Farmacy [inaudible 00:00:27] a place for conversations that matter. And if you care about the state of our world, the state of our country, the state of our health, this conversation's going to be extremely important because it's with one of the leading candidates for presidency in 2024, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Who could be doing a lot of other things right now, but has decided to take his time and energy and focus on highlighting issues in America that have been long neglected, that don't get discussed, and that are now getting airtime, thank God.

He announced his candidacy earlier this year, and he's carrying on his family's legacy of public service, devoting himself to all sorts of things that I've been personal, front row seat to for many years as Bobby's friend. And I want to just be transparent right now. Bobby and I have known each other for, oh gosh, I don't even know, maybe 15 years now. And we've traveled all over the world together. We hang out a lot, and I consider him one of my close friends. And I've known him in all sorts of circumstances, tough family situations, in his public service as a leading environmental activist, activist for the health of our children and many, many other sectors. And I know of no other person with more integrity, with more intelligence, and more commitment to making the world a better place. So welcome, Bobby.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Mark, thank you finally for having me on your podcast. This is a privilege. I've been long denied.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Of course. No, You've been on my podcast once before. We talked about glyphosate, remember? In LA, years ago. So Bobby and I have known each other for a long time. We traveled, but we have had a lot of fun together, and I've seen your advocacy for your environment front up and center. There was a big river in Chile that was going to be dammed, and we did an environmental trip down there in the Futaleufú River, almost died many times, and had really great experiences. We traveled to Machu Picchu together. We went to the Green River in Utah to protest the tar sands mining and the [inaudible 00:02:21] plateau up there, and we had a lot of personal time together. And I think most people don't know you as a human being. They know you as a anti-vaxxer or as a conspiracy theorist, which they've heard in the media, which is really far from the truth.
And you are one of the most thoughtful, deep thinkers that I've ever met and constantly surprising me with your level of depth of scientific knowledge and your ability to grasp really broad issues and makes sense of things which are very hard to make sense of for so many people. So I want to sort of ask you, how is it that you've sort of taken this step? Because we talked years before about you entering politics and you were a bit reticent about it, but now you've sort of taken a big step and what was it that kind of called you to this moment, given the life you have when you have six beautiful kids, you have grandkids now you have beautiful wife, you could be enjoying your life and hanging out, but this is a big step. So why did you choose to do this?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: There was an evolution that led up to it, and part of a lot of that, the impetus behind that evolution Mark, was the censorship. So I was, as you know, I've been censored for 18 years since I published an article in Rolling Stone and Salon in 2005, and all of a sudden my opportunities to go on television. I had a deal with the New York Times at that point where I was publishing an op-ed every six months, and they shut that down. And then little by little they stopped publishing anything that I wrote on any issue, environmental issues. And really since 2010, I've been almost completely banned from the mainstream, from the legacy media, which are very, very dependent on pharmaceutical advertising dollars. And during the early Trump administration, and at the beginning of Covid actually in 2016 or no, 2019, Adam Schiff at the beginning of 2019, so this is a year before Covid, Adam Schiff wrote a letter in March.
Adam Schiff wrote a letter to all of the social media sites asking them to start censoring anybody who questioned vaccines. Three months earlier, the World Health Organization had declared without any scientific evidence that vaccine hesitancy was one of the 10 greatest threats to public health, and that there was no scientific study cited. This was more dangerous than aids, more than cancer, et cetera, malaria. It was up there with malaria and all these other genuine threats for which there is evidence, but it was kind of an arbitrary designation. And then that year you had the measles epidemic and we started getting censored. And then when Covid happened in January, the censorship became really, as you saw, there were doctors like Peter McCulloch and Peter Corey and all of these other doctors who were just trying to talk about alternative medications, about early treatments who were being deplatformed systematically.
Not only that, but their licenses were being attacked. And then in January of 2021, we now know President Biden came in on January 21st and on January 23rd, and this is all in Judge Doty's decision, recent decision, 155 page decision, which enjoined the White House from having any contact with social media sites. But the White House, two days after President Biden came in, had contacted Facebook and Twitter and asked them to begin censoring me, to remove me from their platforms. Three weeks later, Twitter, or Instagram took me off, and that was my major site. I had over 800,000 followers on there, and they just took me off at the White House orders. And the White House was, we now know, was deploying all of these three letter agencies, including the FBI, the CIA, the Census Bureau, I don't know why, but the NH or the DHS, the NIH, were all involved in identifying different people that needed to be censored.
And they weren't just people who were talking about Covid, they were people who were talking about things that were critical. In one case, it was a parody of President Biden and Jill, and his wife that was an idiotic parody, but they didn't like it. And so they demanded that it be censored. So this has never happened in American history before where a president of the United States is ordering and threatening private companies to remove information. And a lot of that information was critical medical information. The Wall Street Journal did an article two weeks ago that suggested that a lot of Americans had died because of that censorship, because they were not given access to information that they should have.
And in fact, our country, and this has never been explained, we only have 4.2% of the global population in the United States. We had 16% of the COVID deaths and the public health agencies, whatever the reason for that, the public health agencies need to explain it. Is it because is it a combination of things? Is it because we have the highest chronic disease rates of any country in the world, the highest chronic disease burden? Is it because they denied early treatment by ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine? Is it because of the lockdowns? It's something that the government did wrong and the function of NIH should be to spend some of that 42 billion dollars that is supposed to be allocated to toward researching public health threats. It's critical that we understand what went wrong during this pandemic. And there's no effort to answer that question.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think that's right. I mean, I think-

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Anyway, that was only half of my answers.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I just want to add one thing to that point because I think it's important, particularly for the audience here, and I'll let you finish in a minute, but you're right, we're 16% of the deaths and cases and 4% of the population in the world. And when you look at the data on that, I think it primarily is because of chronic disease. And a published study from Tufts showed that 63% of all hospitalizations in cases of Covid, deaths from Covid, could have been prevented by better diet.
And I asked Francis Collins about this in person. I said, why didn't you use this as a teachable moment for America to say, hey, it's not your fault that you're in a toxic food system, but this is a chance for you to get yourself healthy and here's how to do it. And he was like, well, we don't want to blame the victim. I said, well, this is not about blaming the victim. This is about calling out our destructive food system that both from an agricultural and a food production system is generating food that 60% of our diet is processed food making us inflamed and pre inflamed. So when Covid hit us, we all got sick and died. So I think you're absolutely right about that.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Well, there's a CDC study that nobody's ever contested that showed that three, that the average person who died from Covid in America had 3.8 chronic diseases, and potentially fatal ones in some cases like diabetes or asthma. But it was clearly the chronic disease that was killing them. It was very hard for a healthy person to die from Covid. It did happen, we don't know why, but certain people, I have a friend, very good friend of mine who was at, literally owns a health wellness company and he's in the best of health. He almost died.
So Covid could kill people that were healthy, but it's very, very, very, very rare. And in fact, there's been a series of studies in the US and in Germany where they could not find one healthy child who died from Covid. That every everybody who died was either had very chronic obesity or some other chronic illness. And so really if you look at what were Americans dying from, they were dying from chronic disease and it was the Covid that maybe put them over the edge, but the thing that really killed them was a chronic disease. We have an epidemic of that in this country that makes Covid look like a cakewalk.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Absolutely. I mean, every day we lose probably 2,500 to 3000 people from chronic disease. It's totally preventable.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman: So get back to the inspiration on why, besides the censorship, that you're kind of now running for president.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: The censorship kind of put me off because one of the things I was looking at, I said, well, if I run for president, it's much more difficult to censor me, but my wife and family, to put my wife and family through the a nightmare of a presidential race to make a point was something that I didn't want to do and nobody in my family would do. But then a guy, then the Ukraine War started and I started having, immediately from the beginning I was looking at that war and seeing how much of it was driven by these propaganda tropes that I had watched in Vietnam and Iraq and Syria and Libya, and again and again, the same thing to feed these forever wars. And I started seeing that, oh, the Minsk courts, that the Russians actually wanted to sign a peace treaty and we wouldn't let them.
And then again, in April, 2022, the Russians signed a peace treaty with Zelenskyy and started removing their troops, and we sent Boris Johnson over there to blow it up. And so I started looking at these and saying, and the Democratic party and Republican party were both full blast and into the war. And I just felt like I'm losing my country, that we're locked into this military industrial complex, which Eisenhower warned us when my uncle died fighting, that my father died fighting the military industrial complex. And here we are and all the things Eisenhower said, which is to turn us into a surveillance state at home, an imperial state abroad, and that somebody needed to be talking about that. And then pollster Jeremy Zogby, who runs one of the biggest poll polling houses in America, had been polling my name across the country. And this is at a time mark when I had probably had 10,000 articles written about me by that stage in Covid.
And not one of them was a nice article. They were all, what a monster I was, a conspiracy theorist, a charlatan, every name that you can apply to somebody. So I didn't expect that if I did a poll that anybody was going to say I was a good guy, Zogby was putting my name on a bunch of polls. When you do a poll for a client, you give that client about 40 questions, and then you ask each of the recipients those 40 questions, but most of the clients don't, and they only want to know the answer to maybe 10 questions or 15. So when Zogby had extra questions on the poll, he would throw my name in and he called me up, or he sent me an email and he said, I need to talk to you. I need to show you something.
And he came to my home and he had all these polls that he'd done across the country, and they showed me with this extraordinary strength that showed that I actually had a pathway to win the election. And the pathway was coming from support from all three parties, independents, Republicans, and Democrats, but very strong in each one. And at that point, I took those to Cheryl and you know Cheryl, she did not jump at the idea of me running, but we talked about it for several-

Dr. Mark Hyman: I can imagine.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: I made all kinds of promises and concessions. And finally-

Dr. Mark Hyman: You're still married, so that's good. You're still married.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Well, I wouldn't have run without her support.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, it's incredible, bobby. I think it's interesting when you look at the field out there, it's like Republicans hate you. Democrats hate you, but also many Democrats and many Republicans love you. So it's actually very confusing to everybody. Where do you fit in a little box? And I think what's unique about your campaign is that you're talking about things that people don't want to talk about. I mean, even this chronic disease conversation we're having, I'm shocked. I've talked to presidential candidates, I've talked to people in Washington over and over, and nobody wants to talk about this issue. Nobody wants to talk about the food system. Nobody wants to talk about the environmental impact of our ag system. No one wants to talk about the burden of chronic disease and its impact on our economy and health disparities and the impact our food system on climate change.
I mean, it's just silence. And yet you're somebody who's talking about these issues, you're bringing them to light. You're talking about the divisions in society, trying to not make them worse, but make them better. And I think that's so refreshing. And I think it was like when your father was running for president, it's like the country catalyzed around him because he was talking about something that nobody was talking about. He was talking about the poor, he was talking about social justice. He was talking about things that really matter to people, that they care about. And I think your family has a legacy of doing things that, I know so many members of your family, and I would say to the people listening it's really remarkable how many members of your family are in work actively trying to make the world better. Whether it's the kids going off to developing countries to help, whether it's your son going off to the Ukraine, not telling his dad and going to fight in the special forces without telling you, which probably freaked you out, I imagine.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: I'm glad he didn't tell me.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, he didn't tell you. No, I mean, but the level of moral courage to get up and say the things you're saying.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Yeah. And I had argued with him about the Ukraine, we argue every night at dinner about it. And he made a very courageous decision. But when he decided, we were sitting at the dinner table and I said to him, when are you starting work for your law firm? I was very excited. He was going to work for Baum Hedlund, which is a law firm that did the Monsanto case for me in Los Angeles, best law firm in Los Angeles. And he had a job with them. And he said, I gave my notice. I'm not working there. And I said, what do you mean? And he said, I have another plan. And I said-

Dr. Mark Hyman: Another plan.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Oh, Cheryl and I were sitting-

Dr. Mark Hyman: Going on a vacation in Europe.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: There and he said, don't ask me. And then I did have access to his credit card bills, and a few days later I saw a credit card, a bill from Poland. And so that made me think, okay, that's pretty close to Ukraine. And then the next one I saw was from the Ukraine. And then nothing for three months.

Dr. Mark Hyman: No, must have been a scary moment. But I think it just speaks to the commitment of your family to advocate for what's right in the world and the campaign that you're launching. And I encourage everybody to go to and look at the platform that he has. Look at the issues that Bobby's talking about from reconciliation. I think in this country, and maybe you're a little older than me, but I don't remember a level of division. I mean, there was the sixties and the upheaval, but the level of division and enmity and hatred from one American to another is just so disheartening for me. And I interact with everybody from all walks of life, from all political spectrums, from all religious beliefs, from all gender identities. And it's just, people are people first. And I think we've forgotten that. So one of the reasons, and this is something, I remember where I was standing actually, it was on the dock in Hainesport when you said this to me years ago.
I said, what are the problems of our democracy? You said one of the problems was the repeal of the fairness doctrine. And I'd like you to explain what that is. And the reason I'm asking you is because that single act led to the propagation of information and media that no longer is about the truth. It's about polarization. And that was a very disturbing moment in American history that I don't think most people caught. In the movie Vice there was a scene where I think Dick Cheney and, I think Bush were talking, and it actually was under the Reagan administration when this happened, but it was really a moment where we've lost our common American identity and lost our common humanity together.
So I'd love you to talk about this division in America and how you imagine healing that because you seem to see at the root of so much, including the censorship, including the lack of free speech, including the cancel culture that we have, it's like, it's just amazing. People can't talk about things anymore, can't have debate, can't have differences of opinion. And it's really what you're inviting is let's all talk together. Let's hang out and get to know each other as human beings and find out what's true, and let's change our minds if we can learn from each other.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: So the fairness action was, Congress passed in 1928 at the dawn of commercial radio. And let me just go back, earlier in our history, there was a dispute. And at the time of the constitutional ratification between Hamilton and Adams, Hamilton and Madison, on one hand, or no, Jefferson, Madison on one hand, Hamilton, Adams on the other, where Jefferson wanted a universal franchise, meaning every white man could vote. Okay? That's what Universal meant at that time. And Hamilton wanted to restrict it. Hamilton wanted to restrict it to just people who were landowners. And the reason for that was that those were really the only educated classes. And he believed that in a democracy that could be stolen by a demagogue who could seduce uneducated voters and with promises with a chicken in every pot or unrealistic promises that they wouldn't be able to see through, and that you needed an educated class.
And Jefferson did not dispute that he believed that was true too. But he said the remedy for that is not to deprive people of their franchise, but rather to educate them and forcibly educate them if they refuse to be educated. So that's why we had, for the first time in this country, Massachusetts and other states had mandatory public schools that you had children had to go to school. It was regarded as critical for our democracy that you have an educated populace. And Jefferson created all of these educational institutions in Virginia. In fact, his grave, it says along with our author of the Declaration of Independence, it says founder of the University of Virginia. And they started these land colleges, the state land colleges everywhere in this country. And it was all about that, that you need to educate the public. So then when radio was invented, Congress recognized, very aware of this history that this new media which could suddenly magically talk to every American so that all these newspapers that they were reading would become irrelevant because you had the one voice that could talk.
Congress passed the law to make sure there was a diversity of voices. And ultimately, the fairness doctrine said you could only own a limited number of radio stations. They didn't want one corporate conglomerate to be able to control the narrative. You could only own certain ones in certain jurisdictions. You couldn't own a newspaper and a radio station in the same jurisdiction. They wanted to make sure that there was a diversity of voices in our democracy saying all the different stories and serving different constituencies. And they also said from the public airwaves, because it was recognized that the public owned the airwaves and that the broadcasters could be licensed to use them. But the license from FCC would be that they could only use them to serve the public interest. And what that meant is, yes, they could make money by selling entertainment to you on the radio, but they had to tell the news that was important and for forming government policies, at least for a certain amount of minutes or hours per day.
And particularly when the television came along, they had to do it at a time when most families would be home. That's why we had the six o'clock news hour, because they thought all Americans are going to be home. The news divisions had to be independent. They had to be telling truth. They could not tell a lie. And if they told one side of the story, if there were two sides, you had to let the other people tell their side of the story. That was the fairness doctrine. And that's why during that period, the news divisions were basically semi-autonomous and they were all money losers because the network put the money in them because that's the only way they could hold onto their license. And then in 1986, Reagan, who came to power with the support of the big studio heads who wanted to consolidate all of these radio and television stations and with the support of the Christian right, which was then developing their own television networks, and they didn't want to give equal time to Satan, which is understandable, so Reagan abolished the fairness doctrine.
He did it through FCC policy. And then you saw this huge consolidation so that today, I think there's five companies maybe now only four, that control all the, virtually all the radio stations, all the television stations in our country, almost all the newspapers, almost all the billboards, and most of the large internet content providers. So you have this huge consolidation where there's five guys who are now telling American what's news, and there's no obligation anymore that they have to tell the truth. And so in the old days, you had Walter Cronkite who everybody believed, and John Chancellor and David Brinkley and Chad Huntley, who had the most integrity of any people in our country, more people believed him. They were independent. They didn't lie. Their job was to tell the truth to the American public. And now that's not true.
Now you have people whose job is to promote ideologies and be corporate propagandas for the advertisers. And after the fairness doctrine, the news bureaus became corporate profit centers. They have bean counters at NBC, who're now telling NBC news division, you got to show a profit. Well, how do you show a profit if you're a news division? Not by having reporters in every country in the world and reporters in every agency of government. There used to be reporters. When I was a kid, there'd be a reporter at EPA from NBC, there'd be a reporter full-time at the commerce department. At the transportation department. They'd be digging through papers all day, uncovering scandals and revealing them to the public. That's all gone. Those-

Dr. Mark Hyman: No investigative journalism anymore.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: No. And they show a profit not by telling us news that may be difficult to explain or hear, but rather by entertaining us. So they tell us lurid stories or they do things that are Hollywood entertainment, but it's not the news that is really important for Americans to understand. And then they do a lot of artisan propaganda and corporate propaganda and it's very, very damaging to our democracy as our founders predicted.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, I think you're right Bobby. And I think if anybody turns on Fox and CNN at the same time, you're like, what world am I living in? You know, can read the exact same thing about the same event and it can be completely a different narrative. And so it's very confusing for someone who's not in it, who isn't knowing the facts to actually come up with a coherent opinion about it. And it's unfortunate. It just creates more polarization, more division and lack of nuance. And I think we've dumbed down so much for Americans and have not given them the credit to actually be able to understand nuance and detail. And one of the things you do very well is you people say, oh, you're an anti-vaxxer, it's like, that just makes me crazy because I could be called an anti-vaxxer too, but I'm not.
I've been vaccinated and my kids have been vaccinated. Your kids are vaccinated, you're not an anti-vaxxer. We helped work on a book with you called About Thimerosal and it's really about what does the science say. Having a conversation about things that are difficult does not mean you're anti or pro. It just means you're asking the question, what does the science say? What are the facts? How do we uncover them? How do we have a intelligent, coherent, logical debate about what's true rather than this immediate dismissal or canceling somebody as soon as they say something you think might be against your ideology or views. So how do we as a country get back to a place where we are all kind of reading from the same playbook and the same facts and heal the divide? I mean, one of the links on your website is really about healing divide as a major part of your platform. It's not vilifying the other. It's about bringing people together.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: And I mean, I'll say something about being anti-vax, as you know, I've never been anti-vax, I began every speech during that period by saying all my kids are vaccinated. I'm fully vaccinated. I was getting a flu shot every year. I mean was the least anti-vax person. I just wanted good science and I wanted to get the mercury out of the vaccine and the aluminum. And as I pointed out then, I've been trying to get mercury out of fish for 35 years and nobody called me Anti-fish. They were calling me anti-vax because it's a way of marginalizing me and making me look like a crazy person. And that's what they do, they're doing now. I mean I'm threatening all of these profit centers, the military industrial complex, the pharmaceutical companies, the DNC. And so you see this orchestration of the propaganda against me, which tries to discredit me in a whole variety of weird charges that I'm a conspiracy theorist or everything that you can imagine, the worst possible stuff that's said about me.
And virtually none of it is true. And my position on vaccines, if Americans, people ask me all the time, how are you going to persuade Democrats to vote for you because of your anti-vax? And what I say is, if Democrats knew my position on vaccines, virtually all of them would say that I want to do the same thing. All I want is good science, the same science safety studies that are endured by every other medical product and medicine prior to licensure, which vaccines are exempt from. And also that people have a choice. And it's between you and your doctor if your child or if you want to get vaccinated, it's a medicine, the government should not be ordering us to take it. There's risk for every medicine and people need to make those. I believe in freedom and I think most people agree with me and those who don't, that's fine, let's talk about it and let's engage in it, let's not call each other names and try to cancel each other and shut each other up.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I think that's right, Bobby. I think one of the challenges around vaccines is that there was a moment in history where there were very few vaccines and most people got those vaccinations and we did all right. And then all of a sudden the number of vaccines started increasing and there was a reason for that, which is that the government indemnified vaccine makers against any harm. In other words, they wouldn't get sued and the government would take that liability and they paid out billions and billions of dollars in vaccine court to deal with vaccine injury and none of that really gets talked about. And so when you look at, I remember when I was re-certifying my board certification, I had to go to a review course and there was a pediatrician got up and said, here's the current vaccine schedule. And it's like incredibly long, I have to share this with you, but I just got to say, I don't know about this.
We don't really have evidence-based medicine. When you look at the evidence, you should say, okay, well when we went from eight vaccines to 72 shots for example, where's the evidence of comparing all those shots in one kid or a group of kids over time to a group that didn't get them? We don't have those studies. We don't know. And so we really aren't practicing evidence-based medicine and we're we're not really asking good questions. And furthermore, I don't think there's any interest in studying it. It's like there's just this lack of interest in actually looking at the data because it could potentially is not what you want to see. And so that's not to say that vaccines aren't good or haven't been great for humanity or haven't saved many lives, but I think any other medicine, they're a pharmaceutical intervention that has risks and has benefits and let's not just ignore the risks.
And I think that's what happened with Covid. We were like vaccines are safe, these work, they're effective. Well they kind of work and they were kind of safe. They weren't the panacea we all thought, and nobody really talked about the difference between disease immunity and actual sterile immunity, which is kind of a nuanced medical conversation. It's a difference between actually the flu vaccine which you get and you may or may not get the flu, but you could get the flu versus for example, when you get measles vaccine, you're not going to get measles in your lifetime. So I think that people just don't have the facts, they don't have the information, they're not shared about it in a coherent way by people who understand this. And it's like, well, let's not confuse people. Let's not say don't eat junk and sugar. It might make people feel bad or let's not talk about the issues.
They don't give people the credit for having the intelligence to decipher nuance. And I think that's what you do. And if people really are interested in what Bobby has to say, I'd encourage you to read his books to look at the data, to read the things. When we did the book on the Thimerosal there were over 900 references and you and I went to Washington, we went to the Department of Health and Human Services, we went with every agency lead on vaccines, the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, HHS, I mean everybody. And not one of them could say, gee, if I had a kid or a grandkid right now, would I want to knowingly put a vaccine with mercury in them even because we know mercury is a neurotoxin, even if we're not a hundred percent sure it's bad, there's enough evidence to say that Mercury is one of the most toxic compounds on the planet.
Why would you want to put that in your kid? And then we go, well, we don't want to, but we don't really have an alternative or they were kind of weaseling around about it. It was one of the most embarrassing moments from my perspective as an American citizen to see the leaders of our government agencies not actually taking a stand for what seems to be the most obvious thing, which is let's get mercury out of vaccines. Not that vaccines are bad, but this is a poison. Why are we putting them in there? And then I remember that meeting Bobby? Remember that when we were there it was-

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Let me just clarify this. So the listeners, mercury was removed from most of the childhood vaccines in 2003, but it continued to be, and it continues to be in the flu shots and in multi-dose flu shots. And most of those are sent to poor neighborhoods, to urban and rural clinics and poor neighborhoods. And it's horribly dangerous. It's recommended for women in every trimester pregnancy and for children in every year of life. So anybody who tells you that all of the mercury was removed from childhood vaccines is not telling you the truth. The mercury is still in the flu shots and we need to get it out and we need to do real science of the flu shots under the Cochrane collaboration, which is the most prestigious group of independent scientists, which oversees overlooks pharmaceutical finance, science that repeatedly says that flu shots are a waste of money and that there's no benefits in mortality from the flu shot.
And that in many cases you're more likely to get non-flu infections if you take that shot than if you didn't. So it is not, we should be doing real cost benefit analysis and real science. We should be doing evidence-based medicine. And by the way, the Institute of Medicine, which is part of the National Academy of Sciences, has a list of about 170 diseases and injuries that it suspects are caused by vaccines. And every four or five years it tells the CDC, you need to study these. And CDC simply refuses to do those studies. That's not Robert Kennedy talking. That is the Institute of Medicine, the highest arbiter of vaccine science in the land. And that just needs to be done. We need real science.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, part of the problem, Bobby, is something you talk about a lot, which is concept of corporate capture. And once I heard in a lecture you say something called corporate kleptocracy, which I'd never heard before. Basically the stealing of our government by corporations. And I think people are aware that this goes on, but at the level that it goes on, it's just sort of staggering. And I'd love sort of talk about how do we gain that back? And it's not just the government, it's the media too. And just to kind of go back to what we were chatting before, over 55% of ads on TV are for pharma and probably a lot of the rest are for bad food. And when you look at the news age, the news shows, a lot of advertising is drug advertising. And so it's very hard to get truth about lifestyle or diet or things that really work or that matter.
Or what I do, functional medicine, on the news. And I found this myself. I've not been censored the way you have, but I definitely noticed it's really hard to talk about these issues. Nobody really wants to, I went on Tucker Carlson and he let me kind of rant about it, but he got canned. I don't know if that was why, but hopefully not. But I think we basically have to have a way for the media to be more independent and we have to have a way for government to be more independent. So how as president would you address these big issues? I think there're what's really driving a lot of the problem with our country today.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Yeah, I mean one of the first things that I'm going to do is to make good health a priority for Americans. The way my uncle did with that on the President's Council on physical fitness, I'm going to make that a priority for Americans and say my uncle said, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country. Well here's something that you can do for your country. Do some exercise, lose some weight, get yourself in shape, build your immune system. Why? Because we have the highest healthcare bills on the planet and the worst outcomes of any industrial nation, we pay 4.3 trillion a year in healthcare, it's bankrupting us. 80% of that is from chronic disease. And that's something that we have some control over. That chronic disease, most of it is coming from bad food and toxics in our environment and bad health habits that are contributing to it.
And we need to change that as Americans. We need to take control of our own health and not hand it over to the pharmaceutical companies, the pharmaceutical paradigm. So I'm going to just make that a priority for Americans and I'm going to start physical fitness programs in every community in our country and I'm going to create incentive systems for people to actually lose weight and to take care of themselves and reward them for that. And then I'm going to do concrete things like get the pharmaceutical advertising off television, There's only two countries in the world that allow that atrocity to happen of direct to consumer advertising. And it's us and New Zealand. And that's one of the reasons why we use three to four times as many pharmaceutical drugs as any of the European countries. And we have the worst health results and we pay the highest prices for pharmaceuticals. And number three cause in death in our country is pharmaceutical drugs after heart attacks and cancers according to the Cochrane collaboration.

Dr. Mark Hyman: And by the way, Bobby, I just want to say something about that point. That point is really important because people don't realize not just side effects or harmful things that are from drugs that are taken improperly. I think it went recently, the data may have changed, but years ago there was a paper in JAM that showed that the third or fourth leading cause of death was drugs prescribed by doctors for the right dose and for the right patient in the right way, not mistakes. So it's important to realize that, that's pretty frightening data.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: And a lot of that may be drug interactions too, because when you prescribe a drug for a patient, that patient, I heard the other day, I don't know if this is true or not, so don't quote me on it, but people over 65 or something are on an average of 11 or 12 different pharmaceutical drugs. I mean it's insane. And I don't know if it's that many, but it is definitely going to be four or five, and nobody knows.

Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean 81% takes one or more.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: 81% takes what?

Dr. Mark Hyman: One or more a day.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: So is that, anyway, I'm not going to ask you about that number, but somebody told me that number the other day, I didn't check it so I'm not going to vouch for it. And then we need to decouple the health regulatory agencies from these financial entanglements that they have with the pharmaceutical industry. It should not be that the drug division at FDA is getting 70% of its financing from pharma. 45% of the entire budget of FDA comes from pharmaceutical companies. So that's their boss, that's who they're reporting to, that's how they're, you get incentives by doing good things for pharmaceutical companies. And at the agency now, those mercantile ambitions in the pharmaceutical companies have entirely overwhelmed and subsumed the regulatory function of that agency. The same is true of CDC. About 45% of CDC's budget goes to buying and then distributing vaccines.
And these sweetheart deals with pharmaceutical companies. The way that you get job promotions, salary increases, recognition, et cetera, at that agency is by making, by increasing vaccine uptake. And that shouldn't be your job. Your job should be increasing public health. That should be the only metric you're worried about. But that's not their metric. Their metric is get as many people to take as many of these as possible. And that's how I'm going to get my salary raised. So your job is to look for problems with that product and yet you're disincentivized from doing that. And then NIH is probably the worst. I think there's 1200 scientists from NIH who are now collecting royalties from pharmaceutical companies, including Anthony Fauci. And so if you work at NIH and you work, NIH is now the biggest incubator for new pharmaceutical drugs.
If you have the good fortune to work on one of the drugs that hits the jackpot, you now have marching rights for the bat and you can get $150,000 a year for life. So the scientists who are supposed to be protecting public health are collecting royalties from a pharmaceutical company that's paying for their house, their boat, their children's education, their retirement accounts, and they have very, very little incentive to look for problems with that drug, which is their job. And so we need to get rid of those. We need to get rid of the revolving doors. I know how to do this because I've been studying these agencies. I have a PhD in how to unravel corporate capture in the pharmaceutical industry and at those regulatory agencies. And I'm going to take a lot of pleasure in doing that when I get in there and people know that I'm going to do that.
And that's why you hear these slanders about me every day in the press. Why the press universally, the legacy media is coming at me with such a vengeance on issues that if you go parse them and read what did Kennedy say? That's a conspiracy here or that's antisemitism or whatever. You actually look at my statement, you'll go, there's nothing here. But they need to say that, they need to put it every day in the headlines because they know, I mean, these are companies that are making billions and billions of dollars in taking pharmaceutical advertising and I'm going to cut off that flow for them so they have a big incentive to make sure I never get into that White House.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, I mean you mentioned chronic disease as being an issue and I think pharma's profiting wildly from that. And I would argue that Covid and deaths were really a foodborne illness. I think it's caused by the food we're eating, because it creates such a level of poor health, obesity and chronic disease. And I think in the government there are good people. I recently talked to some folks in HHS who were helping with the dietary guidelines and they're like, it was shocking to me. They said, we can't get a million dollars, we can't get a penny. There's no allocation, statutory or any other way for supporting the process of developing dietary guidelines for Americans, which basically reviews the science and tells those Americans what they should be eating. And I'm like, what? He said yeah, we have to go around to the other departments in HHS with a tin cup and beg for money to do our work.
I'm like, to review the science, do all this work? Yes, he was complaining we can get 113 billion to support the war on Ukraine, but we can't get a million dollars to support the dietary guidelines process. And he is asking me for help. And I'm like, holy cow. It's such a corrupt system that the things that we should be focusing on are getting completely ignored. And as part of my Food fix campaign in nonprofit, we got the government accountability office, the GAO, to do a review of government policies and chronic disease and its health and economic impact. And it was shocking. There were over 200 policies in 21 agencies, most working across purposes that we're undermining the health of Americans and costing us billions and trillions of dollars.
For example, we say eat less sugar in the dietary guidelines, but we spend 10 billion as part of food stamps for the poor with snap. And we spend 75% of the food stamp bill, which is a hundred billion a year, on junk food. So they don't want us to look at it, they don't want us to examine it, they don't want to change it. How do we start to deal with these things? Because Congress is also captured, it's not just the White House or the agencies. So how do you begin to deal with the reality of this in a practical way?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Yeah. But are you saying that in the SNAP program that a significant amount of money from food stamps is going to processed foods?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. It's a hundred billion a year. 10 billion goes to soda, which is over 30 billion servings for the poor. And 75 billion goes for junk food. Ultra processed food. And 60% of our American diet is ultra processed food. And that's what's killing us. For every 10% of your diet that's ultra processed food. Your risk of death goes up by 14%. The data is clear. Obesity and globally deaths, the number one cause of deaths now it's not smoking or war or violence, it's actually food and it's not talked about. It's not something that the government's even addressing. And I'm this one little guy with no corporate relationships trying to advocate for this.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Of the 10, of the 10 billion, is it 30% plus the 10 for soda, or is it?

Dr. Mark Hyman: No, it's 75% overall. And of that, 10% is for soda.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: 75% what? Goes to processed food?

Dr. Mark Hyman: Of the food stamp bill? Yes. Goes to ultra processed food and junk food. Yeah.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: 75%. 75%. All right, well that's worth running for president just to change that.

Dr. Mark Hyman: But there's so many challenges with that. It's like hunger groups are fighting any changes now.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: I've been fighting that industry for 30 years, all of those processed food. But one of the things, great things that came out of Covid is that you can make, we now have this example of the White House making these huge, huge policies, these dramatic policies for public health that locked down an entire society, shut down industries, disrupted the whole economy to protect human life. So that's a precedent I'm going to remind people of when it's time to get rid of processed foods.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Bobby, I've known you for a long time and one of the things you do is take care of your health, I've had to help you a little bit, get rid of the sugar, but you did that many years ago and you're incredibly fit. You're incredibly healthy, you're 69 years old, but you have the body of a 30 year old. And how do you keep healthy? What's your routine?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Well, you are my role model Mark, honestly. I try to not eat sugar. I do my best. I'm not like a purist about it, but I'm pretty good. And I do intermittent fasting, so I don't eat before noon usually. And then I try to stop eating by seven. And that really helped me with my weight and with making sure that I keep off. It just, it's good. And my understanding is it really reduces inflammation, but it changed my health dramatically when I started doing that. And I do so many things. I take all these vitamins and stuff. I take my fistful of vitamins every day. I'm not very good about it. I'm not somebody people should take recommendations from because what I do is-

Dr. Mark Hyman: You hike every day. You go to the gym.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Yeah, I hike. I go to the gym every day. I go for a short period because that's sustainable that I do intense weights for like 35 minutes and I have four different routines. I just alternate and I do seven days a week. I do one of those routines. I do bull exercise one day, chest one day, back another day, legs and then miscellaneous. And then I do a three hour hike or a three mile hike uphill, which I also do meditations, which I think that spiritual connection is absolutely critical to health. I think for me it is.
And then my vitamins and supplements and stuff, I take a ton of that stuff and I'm really, I'm really bad about it. Like I said, nobody should listen to me because what I do is I listen to one of these podcasts where the guy says, if you take turmeric, your entire life will change. And I believe him and I start taking turmeric, and another guy will say, take nac, and that's the only thing you got to take. And then I add nac to that, and now I take a handful of these things. I have no idea.

Dr. Mark Hyman: We should do another blood test. I'll help you out.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: I do know that I never get sick, so something's working.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, if you want my help, help you sort through it. You're doing great, Bobby. Well thank you so much for your personal health habits. I think we can all learned from that, just consistency and sticking to it. And I think just want to close by encouraging people to take a deep look at Bobby's campaign. I'm not advocating for any particular candidate, but I think that you really need to take seriously what Bobby's saying. It uncovers a lot of the issues at the root of our division in America, at the root of our economic issues, at the root of our global standing, which is declining in the world, at the root of so much of the disparities we see in health.
And I think it's an important campaign because it's bringing light issues that we're not hearing anywhere else, and I think before the podcast era, you would've been shut out. And I think now with the advent of podcasts and alternative sources of information, people can start to make decisions on their own about what they care about and what matters. So Bobby, thanks so much for being on the podcast. Any last thoughts or words you have for us?

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: Oh, but thank you so much, Mark. And thanks for your persistent battle to get people to look at these issues of, you told me years ago something that I never forget, which is food is medicine. And that has been so true for me. So thank you.

Dr. Mark Hyman: Of course, Bobby. Well, it's been great being your friend, and I hope you all the best and take care of your health during this grueling campaign. And I'll catch another hike when I'm in LA.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr: I'll see you soon, Mike.

Closing: Hi everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week's episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you're looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you're looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit and search their find a practitioner database. It's important that you have someone in your corner who's trained, who's a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.