By Ryan Morgan
Republicans on the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government are moving ahead with plans to hear testimony from Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, after House Democrats and their supporters raised accusations Mr. Kennedy had made anti-Semitic remarks.
At a July 11 campaign event, Mr. Kennedy described research indicating that the genetic structure of SARS‑CoV‑2 had differing impacts on individuals of different races and ethnicities, including a lesser impact on ethnic Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews. Mr. Kennedy also discussed how bioweapons could potentially be designed with the intent to harm certain ethnic groups over others. The New York Post published an article based on Mr. Kennedy’s remarks, with the headline “RFK Jr. says COVID may have been ‘ethnically targeted’ to spare Jews.”
Mr. Kennedy has insisted he was not claiming SARS‑CoV‑2 was deliberately modified to “spare Jews,” as the New York Post put it. The controversy over his remarks comes as he’s scheduled to testify before the House Government Weaponization Subcommittee on July 20, where he will discuss government collusion with big tech companies to censor free speech.
The Congressional Integrity Project (CIP), an activist group with the stated goal of defending President Joe Biden and Democrats against Republican congressional investigations, sent a letter (pdf) to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) on Sunday, accusing him and other House Republicans of an “antisemitic pattern” of behavior and calling for them to disinvite Mr. Kennedy. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) also issued a statement on Sunday, similarly accusing Mr. Kennedy of repeating a “vile antisemitic trope” and calling for his remarks to be “uniformly condemned.” Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.), who sit on the House Government Weaponization Subcommittee, also spoke out against Mr. Kennedy’s remarks.
Mr. Jordan rebuffed the Democratic pressure campaign to disinvite Mr. Kennedy on Monday. The Republican lawmaker distanced himself from Mr. Kennedy’s remarks about COVID-19 but insisted the House Government Weaponization Subcommittee would still have him on to talk about coordinated efforts between government offices and social media companies to throttle speech.
“I totally disagree with what he said, but he’s a Democrat. I disagree with other things he said, too. But we’re having him because of censorship,” Mr. Jordan told Politico on Monday.
NTD News reached out to Mr. Jordan for additional comment but did not receive a response by the time this article was published.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), similarly distanced himself from Mr. Kennedy’s remarks, but pushed back on the calls to disinvite the Democratic presidential candidate.
Mr. McCarthy said, “I disagree with everything Mr. Kennedy said,” but contended that the hearing’s focus is censorship. “I don’t think censoring somebody is actually the answer here.”
What RFK Jr. Said
In a video clip captured at his July 11 campaign event, Mr. Kennedy said with “COVID-19, there’s an argument that it is ethnically targeted.”
“COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” he added before describing how different ethnic groups have differences in the structure of their ACE2 receptors, which are the receptors that bind with SARS‑CoV‑2 and lead to COVID-19 infections.
“COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese,” Mr. Kennedy said. “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 of that. We do know that the Chinese are spending hundreds of millions of dollars developing ethnic bioweapons and we [the United States] are developing ethnic bioweapons.”
In his article titled “RFK Jr. says COVID may have been ‘ethnically targeted’ to spare Jews,” New York Post wrote that Mr. 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.”
Mr. Kennedy pushed back on the New York Post’s characterization of his comments in a July 15 tweet, saying the Post’s story is mistaken.
“I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out—during an off-the-record conversation—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 since the furin cleave docking site is most compatible with Blacks and Caucasians and least compatible with ethnic Chinese, Finns, and Ashkenazi Jews,” Mr. Kennedy wrote. “In that sense, it serves as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons. I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered.”
Mr. Kennedy shared a link to the 2021 study he was describing, which was published on the National Institutes of Health’s PubMed site.
Kennedy Has Sued Biden Over Censorship
While Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Biden are both running as Democrats, they’ve demonstrated differing views on a number of issues, including COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates and the war in Ukraine.
Mr. Kennedy founded the non-profit organization Children’s Health Defense (CHD), which has been critical of COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine mandates. Mr. Kennedy and CHD filed a federal lawsuit in March accusing the Biden administration of working with big tech companies to induce those companies to censor Mr. Kennedy’s constitutionally-protected speech.
A federal judge just issued a preliminary injunction against the Biden administration in a similar case, finding that a number of plaintiffs were “likely to succeed on the merits in establishing that the Government has used its power to silence the opposition.” That case, which was brought by Republican attorneys general in Louisiana and Missouri, described an instance in January of 2021 in which a White House official flagged a tweet by Mr. Kennedy and sent an email to Twitter officials stating, “Hey folks-Wanted to flag the below tweet and am wondering if we can get moving on the process of having it removed ASAP.”
Last week, the Biden administration won an appeal from a three-judge panel on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, staying the lower court’s preliminary injunction while the lawsuit proceeds. The two-page appeals court decision did not specify the reasoning for staying the lower court’s injunction. The three judges on the panel were Circuit Judge Carl E. Stewart, an appointee of President Bill Clinton; Circuit Judge James Earl Graves Jr., an appointee of President Barack Obama; and Circuit Judge Andrew Stephen Oldham, an appointee of President Donald Trump.