RFK Jr. suggests COVID-19 was ‘ethnically targeted’ to avoid Ashkenazi Jews

Democratic presidential hopeful cites ‘argument’ that Chinese people are also among the ‘most immune’ to virus ‘targeted to attack Caucasians and black people’

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a campaign event at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, in Boston, April 19, 2023. (AP/Josh Reynolds)
Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks at a campaign event at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel, in Boston, April 19, 2023. (AP/Josh Reynolds)

During a dinner with journalists, Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. floated a conspiracy that the COVID-19 virus was “ethnically targeted” to mostly spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, according to video released Saturday.

“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said at the event Thursday in New York City, footage of which was published by the New York Post. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

“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,” he suggested.

Kennedy is known to peddle conspiracy theories, like claiming that vaccines cause diseases like autism in children. During an anti-vaccine rally last year, he suggested people were less free than Anne Frank was under Nazi rule, before apologizing after widespread condemnations.

Groups tracking antisemitism have pointed to an increase in anti-Jewish incidents and sentiments around the world since the pandemic struck, with Jews being blamed for creating the virus or trying to profit off of it, among other conspiracies.

At the dinner, Kennedy also claimed the Chinese government was spending “hundreds of millions of dollars” to develop biological weapons that target certain ethnicities with a “50% infection fatality rate” that would make coronavirus “look like a walk in the park.”

“They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so we can target people by race,” he said.

US intelligence agencies have increasingly suggested that the virus likely leaked from a Chinese lab, however, there is no evidence to suggest it targeted certain groups.

The coronavirus is thought to have spread to more than 679 million people, claiming 6.8 million lives in the process, including 12,272 deaths in Israel.

After footage of the dinner emerged, Kennedy claimed to have never suggested the virus was designed to avoid targeting Jews.

“I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews,” Kennedy wrote. “I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the US and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns and Ashkenazi Jews.”

“In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons. I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered,” he added, adding a link to the study.

Morton Klein, president of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America, slammed Kennedy for his remarks, saying they left him “worried.”

Klein told the New York Post that he has advised Kennedy on Israel policy issues and even labeled him a “good friend.”

“This is crazy,” he said. “It makes no sense that they would do that. I read everything. I was totally against the vaccine. . . I wanted to convince myself it was correct not to take it. I have never seen anything like this.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the son of former US senator Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of president John F. Kennedy, both of whom were assassinated.

His father was also a Democratic presidential candidate but was shot dead just after midnight on June 5, 1968, in the kitchen pantry of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Kennedy Jr. is not convinced Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian-born man serving a life sentence for assassinating his father during a presidential primary campaign event in 1968, was the gunmen or at least did not act alone and has been pushing for authorities to relaunch an investigation into the case.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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