Kennedy Goes on Defensive in Congressional Testimony

July 20, 2023

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. defended himself during a House hearing Thursday against accusations that he traffics in racist, antisemitic and anti-vaccine conspiracy theories.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, had invited Kennedy to speak out about alleged government censorship. 

Watchdog group the Congressional Integrity Project had urged the Republican-led subcommittee to disinvite Kennedy to the hearing over his documented history of pushing dangerous conspiracy theories.

And just this week several members of his own family publicly rebuked Kennedy for pushing theories that Covid-19 was targeted to certain ethnic groups while sparing other groups.

In videotaped remarks first published on July 15 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.”

In his opening remarks before the House subcommittee Thursday, Kennedy insisted he has never been racist, antisemitic, or anti-vaccine. 

“I’ve never been anti-vaccine,” Kennedy asserted. “Everybody in this room probably believes that I have been because that’s the prevailing narrative.”

However, Kennedy has not only spoken out against the Covid-19 vaccine; he has blasted other vaccines, as well. For example, an article posted on the website of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s group, the Children’s Health Defense Team, is entitled, “25 Reasons to Avoid the Gardasil Vaccine,” which is taken to prevent the human papillomavirus, or HPV.

Kennedy decried his critics during the House hearing, saying, “This is an attempt to censor a censorship hearing,” and adding, “The First Amendment was not written for easy speech. It was a speech that nobody likes you for.”

Kennedy announced in April his campaign to run for the 2024 Democratic presidential nomination against President Biden.


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