Watchdog group the Congressional Integrity Project is calling on a House committee to disinvite Presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. over remarks he made about Covid that have been called “racist,” “sinophobic” and “antisemitic.”
The watchdog’s executive director, Kyle Herring, sent a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, asking him to rescind its invitation to Kennedy to appear at a hearing Thursday.
In videotaped remarks first published by The New York Post, Kennedy asserted that there’s an “argument” that Covid-19 is “ethnically targeted” and that it 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,” Kennedy said. “We don’t know whether it was deliberately targeted at that or not but there are papers out there that show the racial or ethnic differential of impact for that.”
Democrats and anti-hate groups quickly condemned Kennedy’s comments.
“Last week, RFK Jr. made reprehensible anti-semitic and anti-Asian comments aimed at perpetuating harmful and debunked racist tropes,” Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement on Sunday. “Such dangerous racism and hate have no place in America, demonstrate him to be unfit for public office, and must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
The Anti-Defamation League wrote that Kennedy’s claim is “deeply offensive and feeds into sinophobic and antisemitic conspiracy theories about Covid-19 that we have seen evolve over the last three years.”
Kennedy responded to the criticism on Twitter Saturday night, saying that the New York Post’s “story is mistaken”—but then he added in the same tweet 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.”
Kennedy announced in April his campaign to run for the 2024 Democratic Presidential nomination against President Biden. He is set to address the House subcommittee during a hearing to examine “the federal government’s role in censoring Americans.”
The subcommittee didn’t immediately respond to questions about how it would respond to the watchdog’s request regarding Kennedy.