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RFK Jr. says COVID-19 was ethnically targeted ‘to attack Caucasians and black people’

U.S. democratic presidential candidate says ‘Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese most immune’

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. delivers a foreign policy speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, June 20, 2023. (Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was recorded on video saying the COVID-19 virus was “ethnically targeted.” 

Kennedy was speaking at a dinner party in New York City, accompanied by his campaign manager and media. A video of the remarks was published in The New York Post on Saturday.  

“There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said during the dinner. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” 

Kennedy appeared to shy away from outright claiming the effects were intentional, saying, “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential and impact.” 

The comments made by Kennedy were criticized by several anti-racist organizations for feeding into antisemitic and anti-Asian conspiracy theories. 

“The claim that COVID-19 was a bioweapon created by the Chinese or Jews to attack Caucasians and black people is deeply offensive and feeds into Sinophobic and anti-semitic conspiracy theories about COVID-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years,” said Anti-Defamation League spokesperson Jake Hyman. 

Jane Shim, director of the Stop Asian Hate Project, called Kennedy’s remarks “irresponsible, hateful comments.” 

Morton Klein, president of the politically right-leaning group Zionist Organization of America, called the comments “crazy.” Klein said he considers himself a friend of Kennedy and said the remarks “worried” him. 

According to a 2020 Oxford University poll, nearly 1 in 5 British people believed that the COVID-19 virus was developed by Jews. 

The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the University of Tel Aviv released a 2021 study showing a dramatic increase in antisemitic conspiracy theories related to COVID-19 during the pandemic. 

Kennedy responded to the attacks on social media saying he “never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.” 

But he doubled down on the claim that governments are developing “ethnically targeted bioweapons,” linking to a study he said proves that. 

“People say Robert Kennedy Jr. fueled an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, but he didn't. China has indeed been researching ethnically-targeted bioweapons,” wrote journalist Michael Shellenberger in Kennedy's defense.

In an article published in Public, Shellenberger quoted an anonymous U.S. intelligence agent, who stated, “We are deeply concerned about China’s potential ability to generate ethnically targeted products. And there are other countries with similar capabilities, such as Russia and Iran.” 

Kennedy later tried to clarify his remarks in his social media posts, writing, “I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered.” 

He said he was trying to draw attention to “ethnic targeting” in the development of bioweapons.

“Ethnically targeted bioweapons are real, and history makes clear there is no population who should be more concerned about a thing like that than people of Jewish and African descent,” he said.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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