Experts question RFK Jr.'s sudden 'bizarre' medical claims that include brain worms, mercury poisoning

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. appears to be the one White House hopeful suddenly most open to discussing his past medical issues, a willingness some experts are describing as “bizarre.”

Revelations earlier this month that Kennedy once had a parasite infecting his brain led the candidate to openly talk about the incident in a number of interviews, which included him bringing up other medical problems he frequently talked about years before running for president, including mercury poisoning.

“Having brain worms, bragging about getting mercury poisoning and generally being weird doesn’t instill confidence in voters, and it’s definitely bizarre,” Democratic strategist Eric Koch told Fox News Digital. 

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr can’t expect people to take him seriously as a candidate if he’s openly telling them he might not be fit to lead.


“Revelations like this are why his poll numbers are tanking. The more people learn about RFK Jr., the clearer it is that his vanity project campaign isn’t worth wasting a vote over,” he added, referencing what some polls suggest is a slow-down in support for Kennedy. Other polls suggest he holds a steady double-digit level of support nationally.

Republican strategist and Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe called Kennedy’s sudden openness about his medical problems “a weird flex” considering Biden “is essentially a ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ candidate.”


“You would think that you would want to project strength in this race as opposed to weakness, so it’s a little bit of an odd strategy. The irony is that Donald Trump, at 77, is the one with the stamina in this race. He’s outworking and outhustling everyone else while they’re trying to throw him in jail and bankrupt him at the same time,” she added.

Kennedy’s experience with the brain-eating worm was unearthed in a New York Times article published earlier this month, which cited a deposition from 2012 stating the candidate was called by a doctor at New York-Presbyterian Hospital after physicians had noticed a dark spot on his brain scans and that he had complained of memory loss and a mental fogginess. 

Kennedy recalled the doctor telling him the spot “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died.” He had, however, told the Times in an interview months prior that he recovered from the previously disclosed memory loss.

He said in the same interview he had suffered from atrial fibrillation for decades, including being hospitalized four times, but that he had not had an incident related to the condition for more than 10 years.

Kennedy told both the Times and Ben Shapiro’s “Pushing the Limits” podcast the day following the worm revelations that he experienced mercury poisoning around the same time he was infected with the parasite and underwent treatment to rid his system of the metal.

“At the same time, I was having my mercury tested, and I was getting all kinds of tests. And my mercury test came back sky-high … ten times what the EPA levels were for blood mercury, I think it was,” Kennedy told the program. “They were over ten times what anybody considered safe, and I had that chelated out, and all of that brain fog went away.”

Kennedy, however, frequently talked about battling mercury poisoning in interviews going back to at least 2004, years before dealing with the parasite.

“I have so much mercury in my body … that if I were a woman of childbearing years, I would have children with cognitive impairment … probably a permanent IQ loss of five to seven points,” Kennedy said during an appearance on C-SPAN in September 2004.

He said in multiple subsequent interviews in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 he had “recently” been found to have high levels of mercury in his blood, leading to memory loss.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Kennedy’s campaign for comment.

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz contributed to this report.

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