By Tarpley Hitt
On Tuesday, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental activist whose recent work has focused increasingly on baseless allegations that vaccines are unsafe and can injure a statistically minuscule population of “medically fragile” children, appeared at the California State Assembly beside an unlikely scene partner: actress Jessica Biel. In a series of Instagram posts, first reported in Jezebel by Anna Merlan, the two posed with activists, legislators, and miscellaneous bureaucratic architecture. In the caption, Kennedy called Biel “courageous.”
The duo had come to lobby against SB 276, a California state bill that would limit medical exemptions from vaccinations without approval from a state public-health officer. The bill has been decried by anti-vaxx advocates like Kennedy and vaguely critiqued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, over official estimations that it would reduce medical exemptions by nearly 40 percent.
Although reports circulated in 2015 that Biel and her husband, Justin Timberlake, did not plan to vaccinate their kids (“She feels that vaccination could cause complications,” a source told In Touch Weekly), Biel has never publicly commented on the vaccination debate. But on a phone call with The Daily Beast, Kennedy confirmed that the actress, whose past controversial opinions include insisting it is a “struggle” to get roles because she is too sexy, was “upset about this issue because of its particular cruelty.”
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