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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. accused of racism, anti-Semitism for COVID-19 claims

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. faces allegations of racism and anti-Semitism following a video published by the New York Post in which he suggests that “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people.” He later goes on to claim that “the people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

Kennedy defended himself on Twitter, clarifying that he “accurately pointed out” how the U.S. and other governments “are developing ethnically targeted bioweapons.”

“I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews,” he wrote.

Kennedy also emphasized that the video was a recording of an off-the-record conversation used to “smear [him] by association with an outlandish conspiracy theory.”

Various organizations have condemned the content and implications of Kennedy’s remarks. According to The New York Times, the Anti-Defamation League wrote, “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 antisemitic conspiracy theories about Covid-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also denounced Kennedy’s claims during a press briefing on Monday. “The claims made on that tape is false,” she said. “It is vile, and they put our fellow Americans in danger.”

Reps. Judy Chu (CA-28), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-25), Dan Goldman (NY-10) and over 100 House Democrats are now calling for the withdrawal of an invitation for Kennedy to testify in front of the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Thursday.

“Mr. Kennedy floated the conspiracy theory that the coronavirus was purposely bioengineered in a lab to target Caucasians and Black people—but to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people,” a Congressional Asian Pacific Pacific American Caucus press release says. “These false claims echo centuries of Jews being scapegoated and held collectively responsible for illnesses like the Black Plague—often as a precursor for massacres and pogroms, and Chinese immigrants being blamed for plague outbreaks since the mid-1800s.”

“Allowing Mr. Kennedy to serve as a witness before the Select Subcommittee only services to legitimize his antisemitic and anti-Asian views,” it concludes.

Happy Lunar New Year! Time is running out to support our Lunar New Year Fundraising Drive through this link. The campaign ends Sunday. AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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