Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attempted damage control on his controversial remarks suggesting COVID-19 may have been “ethnically targeted.”
Kennedy, 69, who is well-known for his skepticism of vaccines, appeared to dish out the wild conspiracy as boozy guests blew hot air during an Upper East Side restaurant appearance last week, in private remarks exclusively reported by The Post.
Responding to fierce backlash, Kennedy disputed characterizations of his caught-on-tape remarks as antisemitic.
“The @nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews,” he tweeted.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has emerged as the top Democrat primary challenger to President Biden, but trails the incumbent by a wide margin.AFP via Getty Images
“I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. 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.”
The @nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out — during an off-the-record conversation — that the U.S. and other governments are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons and that a 2021…
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 15, 2023
The Kennedy dynasty heir has long raised concerns about bioweapons and railed against COVID-19 suppression policies. Getty Images
The COVID-19 pandemic is estimated to have killed at least 7 million globally.AFP via Getty Images
During the dinner, which took place last Tuesday, Kennedy floated the possibility that COVID-19 was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people” and underscored that “the people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said. “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,” Kennedy hedged.
Revelations of his remarks quickly quicker up a firestorm for the Democratic contender who has managed to broach double-digits in a myriad of polls.
For instance Democratic Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison quickly repudiated the long-shot contender’s remarks as “deeply troubling” and underscored “they do not represent the views of the Democratic Party.”
Robert F. Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, has drawn controversy in the past for his skepticism of vaccine safety measures.Getty Images
Kennedy cited a study from early on in the pandemic that discussed genetic factors in the spread of the deadly bug that plunged the world into mass lockdowns.
In an apparent bid to deflect criticism of espousing anti-semitism, Kennedy later posted a video conversation with Rabbi Shmuley in the wee Sunday morning hours, who swooped to his defense.
“I had read about what you had said at that dinner on the Upper East Side,” Shmuley said. “This perception that you’re antisemitic. I know you’re not. And in fact, I know precisely the opposite is true. I know that in your heart you feel a great closeness to the Jewish people.”
COVID-19 plunged the world into lockdowns and economic tumult.Getty Images
Kennedy has previously mused over the possibly of governments concocting ethnically engineered bioweapons.
“We’re making ethnic bio weapons, bio weapons that can only kill Russians, bio weapons that the Chinese are making that, can kill people who don’t have Chinese genes,” he told podcast guru Lex Friedman earlier this month.
“So all of this is now within reach, we’re actively doing it, and we need to stop it.”
There has been some debate among scientists and the US intelligence agencies over whether COVID-19 originated from a Wuhan, China lab leak or natural transmission spillover.
However, there is no evidence that the virus was deliberately engineered to spare certain ethnic groups.
Multiple antisemitic conspiracy theories have swirled in dark corners of the internet suggesting Jews were responsible for the pandemic.
Nearly 1 in 5 British respondents believed that Jews created the pandemic, according to a 2020 Oxford University study.
The Kennedy dinner event last Tuesday also made a splash due to a chaotic “war of words” among attendees over climate change.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has courted a strong fanbase since entering the 2024 arena.Getty Images
Kennedy is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, brother of former President John F. Kennedy. Many of his family members have spoken out against his political views.
The political scion was polling at 14% for the Democratic nomination Sunday, nearly 50 percentage points behind President Biden, according to the latest RealClearPolitics aggregate.