Headline RoundupJuly 16th, 2023

RFK Jr. Suggests COVID-19 was ‘Ethnically Targeted,’ Defends Against Backlash

Summary from the AllSides News Team

On Saturday, New York Post (Lean right bias) published a video where Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said, “There is an argument that (COVID-19) is ethnically targeted.”

The Details: Kennedy made the statement at a press event Tuesday, suggesting that whether a result of deliberate engineering or not, white and black people were targeted. Kennedy added that Chinese and Ashkenazi Jews were the most immune. His words sparked backlash from several media outlets, politicians, and organizations. Kennedy has since defended his statements and demanded a retraction from New York Post.

Key Quotes: On Tuesday, Kennedy said, “There is an argument that (COVID-19) is ethnically targeted… to attack Caucasians and black people. The… most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” Saturday he defended himself on Twitter saying, “The @nypost story is mistaken. I have never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews. I accurately pointed out… that a 2021 study of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 appears to disproportionately affect certain races… That study is here.”

Reactions: Mainstream media outlets across the spectrum condemned Kennedy and his statements. Several publications, including New York Post, CNBC (Center bias), and New York Times (Lean Left bias) called Kennedy’s words a “conspiracy theory” or labeled him a “conspiracist.” The Zionist Organization of America and Anti-Defamation League called Kennedy’s statements “crazy” and “deeply offensive,” respectively. Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger said Kennedy didn’t actually fuel an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, but instead “triggered a long-overdue debate about how to rein in the dual-use research that has spiraled out of control.”

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