Brian Hooker of the anti-vaccine organization Children’s Health Defense has gone on multiple QAnon-affiliated shows to attack vaccines and promote an anti-vaccine book he co-authored with the organization’s founder, presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
Hooker, the chief scientific officer of Children’s Health Defense who also serves on its board, has appeared on two QAnon-affiliated shows a total of three times in recent months. (Kennedy took a leave of absence from the organization in April before launching his campaign in the 2024 Democratic presidential primary.)
On September 4, Hooker appeared on QAnon supporter Mel K’s The Mel K Show. During the interview, Mel K praised the “tremendous” and “phenomenal” work done by Hooker, and urged people to give Hooker’s anti-vax book to “your friends, especially your friends that have children.” Hooker, who said it was “an honor” to be on the show, spent the interview attacking vaccines, including referencing Kennedy’s misleading claims about vaccines and mercury.
Just days later, in early October, Hooker again went on The Mel K Show, promoting his book, saying it was “wonderful to be back,” and praising Mel K for “fighting the good fight.” In turn, Mel K called Hooker a “hero” who is “giving people information and both sides coming from a really in-depth science background, not ‘the science,’ as defined by Anthony Fauci, but actual science.”
The following month, Hooker went on RedPill78, hosted by QAnon supporter and January 6 insurrection participant Zak Paine. Hooker told Paine that it was a “privilege to be on your show tonight” and that “I’ve looked forward to this for a long time,” and Paine said Hooker’s work is “very important” and urged people to get his “excellent” book. Hooker also praised Kennedy, saying that while he was not allowed to endorse a political candidate, “I think the world of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. … and nothing would deter me from thinking the world of him. And I owe so much to him.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Children’s Health Defense have repeatedly collaborated with QAnon figures, and anti-vaccine figures broadly have an ongoing relationship with QAnon supporters. Hooker is also not the first board member of Children’s Health Defense to appear on a QAnon-affiliated program. In December of last year, another board member, Sheila Ealey, appeared on the online QAnon channel American Media Periscope and attacked vaccines, with the host calling her a “good friend.”
Correction (12/8/23): This piece originally mistakenly referred to Children’s Defense Fund in one instance instead of Children's Health Defense. Children’s Defense Fund is a separate organization and unrelated to Children's Health Defense.