Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. dished out wild COVID-19 conspiracy theories this week during a press event at an Upper East Side restaurant, claiming the bug was a genetically engineered bioweapon that may have been “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
Kennedy floated the idea during a question-and-answer portion of raucous booze and fart-filled dinner at Tony’s Di Napoli on East 63d Street.
“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said. “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 hedged.
In between bites of linguini and clam sauce, Kennedy, 69, warned of more dire biological weapons in the pipeline with a “50% infection fatality rate” that would make COVID-19 “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,” he claimed. “They’re collecting Russian DNA. They’re collecting Chinese DNA so we can target people by race.”
There has been a growing consensus among US intelligence agencies that COVID-19 was man-made and escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China — but there is no evidence it was designed to spare certain religious groups or ethnicities, and Kennedy offered no studies to support his claims.
Kennedy’s remark echoes well-worn anti-Semitic literature blaming Jews for the emergence and spread of coronavirus which began circulating online shortly after the pandemic broke out, according to The Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry at the University of Tel Aviv’s 2021 Antisemitism Worldwide Report.
A 2020 Oxford University study found nearly 1 in 5 British people believed Jews created the coronavirus pandemic for financial gain.
“No no no no no,” said Dr. Monica Gandhi Professor of medicine and infectious disease at the University of California, San Francisco, and a longtime critic of pandemic-related school closures. “I don’t see any evidence that there was any design or bioterrorism that anyone tried to design something to knock off certain groups.”
Jewish organizations blasted Kennedy for his remarks.
“This is crazy,” said Morton Klein, President of the right-leaning Zionist Organization of America. “It makes no sense that they would do that. I read everything. I was totally against the vaccine. . . I wanted to convince myself it was correct not to take it. I have never seen anything like this.”
Klein, who said he had been advising Kennedy on Israel issues and called him a “good friend,” said the remark left him “worried.”
The son of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy and nephew of former President Kennedy has in the past palled around with Nation of Islam leader and notorious anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan.
He also met with NOI leadership in Los Angeles in 2020 and told them the COVID vaccine had been “genetically modified to attack black and Latino boys.”
The left-leaning Anti-Defamation League went further saying in a statement saying: “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 anti-semitic conspiracy theories about COVID-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years.”
Kennedy’s campaign has drawn in disaffected elements of both the right and left seeking an alternative to mainstream candidates.
Some polls have shown him garnering 20% support among primary voters.
Reps for Kennedy did not respond to a request for comment.