Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty/AP Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump will give the keynote speech next month at an anti-vaccine conference, marking the latest alliance between the Trump family and the GOP’s fringiest elements.
Trump is set to speak at the Truth About Cancer Live! convention between Oct. 22 and 24 in Nashville, joining a speakers’ lineup that includes some of the most prominent promoters of disinformation about vaccines, as well as leading figures in the QAnon conspiracy theory movement.
The conference is the brainchild of Ty and Charlene Bollinger, two major promoters of anti-vaccine disinformation who have made tens of millions of dollars promoting both alternative health cures for cancer and vaccine fears. The Bollingers have dubbed the coronavirus vaccine “that abominable vaccine,” according to a Center for Public Integrity report, and sell a $200 video series promoting vaccine fearmongering on their website.
Trump confirmed his scheduled speech in an email to The Daily Beast.
“I am not there to talk about vaccines,” Trump wrote. “I am in Nashville to talk about the accomplishments of the 45th President of the United States.”
Trump disputed the idea that the conference is “anti-vaccine,” pointing to his vaccinated status.
“As to labeling something an anti-vaccine event, it wouldn’t make much sense for me to attend as a vaccinated person if it was,” Trump wrote.
The Bollingers and “Truth About Cancer” didn’t respond to a request for comment. Ty Bollinger Trump added that the push for a coronavirus vaccine during his father’s administration could amount to “one of the greatest accomplishments of any president in history.” But his hosts at the convention don’t appear to share his high opinion of the coronavirus vaccine. In posts on Telegram, a social media app popular on the right, the Bollingers have called the vaccine a “SHOT OF POISON!” and the “COVID kill shot.” The Bollingers have also attacked vaccines more broadly, claiming in social media posts that vaccines cause autism.