WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief spokesman has sharply criticized Democratic presidential opponent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for alleging in a newly released video that COVID-19 was aimed at attacking Caucasians. and blacks and that Jews and Chinese are the most immune.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre joined a chorus of Democratic outrage over comments by Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s 69-year-old son, a member of the Kennedy political dynasty who was assassinated while running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1968.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2024, putting him in direct competition with Biden, who is seeking a second four-year term. Kennedy is a long way off for the nomination, with a polling average from election data website FiveThirtyEight showing about 15% of Democrats backing him.
“The claim that COVID has been genetically engineered to spare Jews and Chinese is deeply offensive and incredibly dangerous. Every aspect of these comments mirrors some of the most heinous anti-Semitic conspiracy theories in history and contributes to the dangerous current rise in anti-Semitism,” said Jean-dit Pierre.
The New York Post published a video on Saturday that appeared to show Kennedy speaking at a dinner party in Manhattan. In the video, the contestant states that “COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately.”
“COVID-19 is aimed at attacking Caucasians and black people. The most immune people are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people,” he says in the video, adding that it is unclear whether the virus was deliberately targeted or not. .
Kennedy said on Twitter on Sunday that “the insinuation by @nypost and others that following my citation of a peer-reviewed article on bioweapons that I am somehow anti-Semitic is a disgusting fabrication.” .
(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Steve Holland; Editing by Heather Timmons and Deepa Babington)