RFK Jr. Revealed That a Parasitic Worm Ate Part of His Brain

The 2024 presidential election took an unusual turn on Wednesday when reports surfaced that independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. once claimed in a deposition over a decade ago that doctors discovered that a parasitic worm had eaten part of his brain before dying inside his skull.

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“In 2010, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was experiencing memory loss and mental fogginess so severe that a friend grew concerned he might have a brain tumor,” the New York Times reported. “Mr. Kennedy said he consulted several of the country’s top neurologists, many of whom had either treated or spoken to his uncle, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, before his death the previous year of brain cancer.”

Several doctors noticed a dark spot on the younger Mr. Kennedy’s brain scans and concluded that he had a tumor, he said in a 2012 deposition reviewed by The New York Times. Mr. Kennedy was immediately scheduled for a procedure at Duke University Medical Center by the same surgeon who had operated on his uncle, he said.

While packing for the trip, he said, he received a call from a doctor at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital who had a different opinion: Mr. Kennedy, he believed, had a dead parasite in his head.

The doctor believed that the abnormality seen on his scans “was caused by a worm that got into my brain and ate a portion of it and then died,” Mr. Kennedy said in the deposition.

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He disclosed that around the same time he found out about the parasite, he received a diagnosis of mercury poisoning, likely due to excessive consumption of fish. Mercury is known for its detrimental effects on neurological health and can lead to severe complications when ingested in large quantities.

Related: Who’s the Real Spoiler in This Election: Kennedy or Biden?

“I have cognitive problems, clearly,” he said during the deposition. “I have short-term memory loss, and I have longer-term memory loss that affects me.”

In the interview with The Times, he said he had recovered from the memory loss and fogginess and had no aftereffects from the parasite, which he said had not required treatment. Asked last week if any of Mr. Kennedy’s health issues could compromise his fitness for the presidency, Stefanie Spear, a spokeswoman for the Kennedy campaign, told The Times, “That is a hilarious suggestion, given the competition.”

The campaign declined to provide his medical records to The Times. Neither President Biden nor Mr. Trump has released medical records in this election cycle. However, the White House put out a six-page health summary for President Biden in February. Mr. Trump released a three-paragraph statement from his doctor in November.

Doctors who have treated parasitic infections and mercury poisoning said both conditions can sometimes permanently damage brain function, but patients also can have temporary symptoms and mount a full recovery. 

Some of Mr. Kennedy’s health issues were revealed in the 2012 deposition, which he gave during divorce proceedings from his second wife, Mary Richardson Kennedy. At the time, Mr. Kennedy was arguing that his earning power had been diminished by his cognitive struggles.

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Did anyone have this on their bingo card?

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