White House blasts RFK Jr for ‘antisemitic conspiracy theories’

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. waves to the audience after delivering a foreign policy speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., June 20, 2023. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief spokesperson sharply criticized Democratic presidential opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for alleging in a recently released video that COVID-19 was targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people and that Jewish and Chinese people are most immune.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre joined a chorus of Democratic outrage at the comments from the 69-year-old son of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a member of the Kennedy political dynasty who was assassinated while running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024, putting him directly in competition with Biden, who is seeking a second four-year term. Kennedy is a long shot for the nomination, with a poll average from election data website FiveThirtyEight showing that about 15% of Democrats support him.

“The assertion that COVID was genetically engineered to spare Jewish and Chinese people is deeply offensive, and incredibly dangerous. Every aspect of these comments reflect some of the most abhorrent antisemitic conspiracy theories throughout history and contributes to today’s dangerous rise of antisemitism,” Jean-Pierre said.

The New York Post on Saturday published a video that appeared to show Kennedy speaking at a dinner in Manhattan. In the video, the candidate says “COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately.”

“COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese,” he says in the video, adding that it was not known whether the virus was deliberately targeted or not.

Kennedy said on Sunday on Twitter than the “insinuation by @nypost and others that, as as result of my quoting a peer-reviewed paper on bio-weapons, I am somehow antisemitic, is a disgusting fabrication.”


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