Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Sparks Controversy with Dangerous Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

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Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a Democratic presidential candidate, has come under fire for promoting a dangerous conspiracy theory regarding the coronavirus. In a video of his remarks published by the New York Post, Kennedy suggested that the virus could have been a bioweapon specifically targeted to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people while disproportionately affecting White and Black people.

During a dinner on the Upper East Side of New York, Kennedy claimed that Covid-19 attacks certain races disproportionately. He stated, “Covid-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” These remarks by Kennedy perpetuate racist and antisemitic tropes, including theories that blame Jews for spreading the virus for their own gain, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Jake Hyman, a spokesperson for the Anti-Defamation League, described Kennedy’s claim as a dangerous form of conspiracy theory. He stated that the idea that the coronavirus was manipulated to pose less risk to Jews is deeply offensive and feeds into Sinophobic and antisemitic conspiracy theories. The group had not encountered this specific claim before.

Jane Shim, the director of the Stop Asian Hate Project, criticized Kennedy’s remarks, likening his words to the dangerous rhetoric of former President Donald Trump. She stated that antisemitism and anti-Asian sentiment are deeply ingrained in American history and that Kennedy’s comments could harm Asian Americans.

After the video from the dinner was published, Kennedy took to Twitter to claim that he never suggested that the coronavirus was targeted to spare Jews. He also stated that the dinner was off the record, a claim disputed by the event organizer. However, the video clearly shows Kennedy suggesting that the virus may have been deliberately targeted by race and ethnicity.

Kennedy has gained attention for spreading conspiracy theories about the pandemic, Anthony S. Fauci, and the AIDS epidemic. He has also made controversial comparisons, including likening mask mandates and vaccination efforts to the Holocaust. Despite this, some polls show that he has gained support among primary voters in the Democratic primary.

Scientists and lawmakers have debated the origins of the virus for several years. While most believe that the virus likely spread to humans from a market in Wuhan, China, others argue that it could have accidentally leaked from a lab. Intelligence agencies, however, agree that the virus was not developed as a bioweapon.

In conclusion, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s promotion of a conspiracy theory regarding the coronavirus has drawn criticism for perpetuating racist and antisemitic tropes. His remarks were found offensive by organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League and the Stop Asian Hate Project. It is important to counter and debunk these dangerous conspiracy theories to prevent further harm and division.