RFK Jr. denies he suggested COVID may have been engineered to spare Jews, Chinese

Facing criticism from Jewish groups, Democratic presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy Jr. says video was taken out of context, touts his father’s pro-Israel legacy.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Democratic presidential hopeful and vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. claimed over the weekend that video footage of him suggesting that the COVID-19 virus may have been engineered to target whites and blacks while sparing Chinese and Jews was misunderstood and misrepresented.

Speaking at a dinner event at Tony’s Di Napoli restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side last week, Kennedy floated the idea that the novel coronavirus may have been engineered to “ethnically target” certain groups, while sparing others.

“COVID-19: There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy can be heard saying in video footage released 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,” Kennedy continued, alluding to a July 2020 study published by BMC Medicine which showed greater susceptibility to COVID-19 among people with certain variants of the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor, with certain variations making ACE2 receptor cites more vulnerable to infection by spike proteins.

Kennedy went on to warn of future ethnically-targeted bio-weapons featuring a “50% infection fatality rate” that would make the novel coronavirus “look like a walk in the park.”

“We do know that the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnic bioweapons and we are developing ethnic bioweapons, that’s what all those labs in the Ukraine are about” Kennedy said. “They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so we can target people by race.”

Read  Israel is moral, others would have 'leveled' Gaza - RFK Jr.

‘Wrongly misinterpreted’

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said in a news release that Kennedy’s “recent statements have been wrongly misinterpreted to falsely claim hostility to Jews. This has caused Bobby much pain.

“As someone who worked with two-time Nobel laureate and Cal Tech/Stanford Prof. Linus Pauling, as well as having a background in biostatistics, I can tell you that Bobby non-malevolently cited a published NIH funded study that suggested that docking features of the COVID-19 virus gave certain ethnicities heightened resistance to infection including Finns, Chinese, and Ashkenazi Jews. Kennedy acknowledges that those lab studies were meaningless, as these groups proved equally vulnerable to COVID-19 in real life.

“Kennedy told me that he regrets ever discussing the study because ‘I should have known that its mere mention could be distorted by malicious people to feed some blood libel.’”

Jaime Harrison, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, condemned Kennedy’s comments Saturday, calling the candidate’s claims “troubling.”

These are deeply troubling comments and I want to make clear that they do not represent the views of the Democratic Party,” Harrison tweeted.

New York Congressman Ritchie Torres slammed Kennedy, saying he had dishonored the family name.

“Hard to imagine a son who has done more to dishonor his father’s name than RFK Jr.”

“He falsely said COVID-19 was ‘ethnically targeted’ to favor Chinese + Jewish people and disfavor black + white people. RFK Jr. is a complete crackpot who has no business being anywhere near the presidency.”

Read  Israel is moral, others would have 'leveled' Gaza - RFK Jr.

On Saturday, however, Kennedy pushed back on the criticism, claiming that his comments had been misconstrued.

“The @nypost story is mistaken,” Kennedy tweeted. “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 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.”

Kennedy went on to accuse the Post of exploiting “this OFF-THE-RECORD conversation to smear me by association with an outlandish conspiracy theory. This cynical maneuver is consistent with the mainstream media playbook to discredit me as a crank — and by association, to discredit revelations of genuine corruption and collusion.”

On Sunday, Kennedy released a short video with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in which he responded to the controversy.

‘Emotional pain’

In an adjoining tweet, Kennedy said he understands the “emotional pain” the claims may have caused to Jews, while referencing the pro-Israel legacy of his father and uncle.

“The insinuation by @nypost and others that, as result of my quoting a peer-reviewed paper on bio-weapons, I am somehow antisemitic, is a disgusting fabrication. I understand the emotional pain that these inaccurate distortions and fabrications have caused to many Jews who recall the blood libels of poison wells and the deliberate spread of disease as the pretext for genocidal programs against their ancestors.”

Read  Israel is moral, others would have 'leveled' Gaza - RFK Jr.

“My father and my uncles, John F. Kennedy and Senator Edward Kennedy, devoted enormous political energies during their careers to supporting Israel and fighting antisemitism. I intend to spend my political career making those family causes my priority.”

“I will fight relentlessly alongside my Jewish brothers and sisters and friends against Jew-hatred and the demonization of Israel. I have just recorded an interview with @RabbiShmuley, whom the same New York Post just this month called, ‘the most famous Rabbi in America.’ I have called upon the Biden Administration not to consummate a second Iran deal that would give that genocidal government a legitimized nuclear program. In the same interview, I called upon the Democratic Party to return to the strong, unconditional support of Israel that was the hallmark of the party under the leadership of my uncle and my father.”

“Today I had a great conversation with Rabbi Shmuley on Judaism and anti-Semitism. He had this to say: ‘Two things bothered me about the reports I had read about what you had said at that dinner on the upper east side. I said number one, again, this perception that you’re anti-Semitic. 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, to the Jewish community, and to Israel. And the second thing that bothered me is, that you’re being portrayed as you said before, a crank, as a loony toon…but you’re brilliant. You know your facts.’”