White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre sharply denounced a conspiracy theory floated by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. that Covid-19 was engineered to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people, calling the longshot Democratic candidate’s remarks “false” and “vile.”
“The claims made on that tape is false,” she said during a Monday press briefing about a video published over the weekend. “It is vile, and they put our fellow Americans in danger.”
In the video, Kennedy suggests that Covid was “targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people.” He later added that “the people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
Kennedy has defended himself on Twitter, disputing the New York Post’s initial reporting of his comments, insisting he was just relaying others’ research, and denying that he said the virus was made to “spare Jews.” But after the video emerged, his remarks prompted condemnation across the Democratic Party and even from members of his own family.
“I STRONGLY condemn my brother’s deplorable and untruthful remarks last week about Covid being engineered for ethnic targeting,” wrote Kennedy’s sister, Kerry, on Twitter.
Jean-Pierre declined to discuss Kennedy directly, citing the legal constraints on the administration’s ability to address campaign matters. But she warned that Kennedy’s remarks amounted to encouraging racist theories around the virus.
“If you think about the racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories that come out of saying those type of things, it’s an attack on our fellow citizens,” Jean-Pierre said. “And so it’s important that we essentially speak out when we hear those claims more broadly.”
Jean-Pierre also cited a statement from the American Jewish Committee that called Kennedy’s claims “deeply offensive” and reflective of “some of the most abhorrent antisemitic conspiracy theories throughout history.”
“This is something that this president, and this whole administration, is going to stand against,” she added.