Antisemitic and neo-Nazi commentators have been celebrating Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to exclude Jewish people.
They have called Kennedy “based” and “100% correct”; written that “I fully support any presidential candidate saying things like this that make Jews upset”; and told followers: “Kennedy Jr. just opened the door for real truth to spread. We must not let him down - spread the word!!!”
He and his anti-vaccine group Children’s Health Defense have a history of right-wing and conspiratorial associations. CHD has sought support from users of the far-right social media platform Gab, including white supremacists, QAnon conspiracy theorists, and an open neo-Nazi. Kennedy has also praised a fringe commentator who previously claimed that “Hitler was a Rothschild” and that he was “utterly set up.”
The New York Post reported over the weekend that Kennedy said that there’s “an argument” that COVID-19 is “ethnically targeted,” adding: “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.” Antisemites have claimed during the pandemic that COVID-19 is a Jewish plot.
Kennedy’s remark has led to heavy controversy, with Asian and Jewish groups condemning his statement. (Kennedy has attempted to clean up his remark by claiming the event was off the record and saying he’s being smeared.)
Virulent antisemites and neo-Nazis have applauded Kennedy for his conspiracy theory. Here is just a sampling of the online support.
Neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin: “BASED RFK Jr. Says Covid was Genetically Engineered to Spare Jews … a hilarious thing to say, and I totally support it.” Anglin is a neo-Nazi who has harassed and urged violence against Jewish people. He praised Kennedy on his Daily Stormer website in a piece titled “BASED RFK Jr. Says Covid was Genetically Engineered to Spare Jews.” He wrote: “I don’t really even understand exactly what this means, but clearly, the implication is that the Jews designed the virus to spare themselves while killing off the goyim. … However, ‘the virus was engineered to spare the Jews’ is a hilarious thing to say, and I totally support it.”
Holocaust denier Henrik Palmgren: “#RFK is 100% correct.” Palmgren is a streamer who posts antisemitic and Holocaust denying material. He tweeted on his Twitter-verified account: “#RFK is 100% correct.”
Neo-Nazi site Infostormer: “I fully support any presidential candidate saying things like this that make Jews upset.” Infostormer is a neo-Nazi site that has said it’s dedicated to “destroying Jewish tyranny.” In its section “Jewish Problem,” Infostormer wrote: “RFK Jr. said that COVID-19 was engineered and that it was engineered in such a way so that Jews and Chinese people would be the least at risk from it. This is a very funny thing to say because it has caused all sorts of Jews to get really angry and upset. … Regardless of what COVID-19 theory you believe in, I fully support any presidential candidate saying things like this that make Jews upset.”
The site also commented: “This is perhaps the greatest thing he has ever said.”
Antisemites and neo-Nazis on Gab: “Someone has to say it”; “Just Opened the Door for Real Truth to Spread. We Must Not Let Him Down - Spread the Word!!!” Gab is a social media platform that caters to far-right users, including antisemites and neo-Nazis. Numerous people on that platform who openly espouse those views celebrated Kennedy for his conspiracy theory; here are four examples:
- The Western Chauvinist, a neo-Nazi account that Kennedy’s group previously messaged, wrote: “Pressure release valve or Overton window. Either way someone has to say it.”
- An account called “JewsaretheProblem” said of his remarks: “The Truth War Has Officially Been Launched. Robert Kennedy Jr. Just Opened the Door for Real Truth to Spread. We Must Not Let Him Down - Spread the Word!!!”
- An account called “HitlerWasRight” shared a link to a piece headlined “RFK Jr. Drops Nuclear Truth Bomb About How COVID-19 Bioweapon Was Designed To Spare Ashkenazi Jewish Bloodlines (video).”
- An account called “ItWasTheJews” shared an image from the QAnon account Shadow of Ezra linking Kennedy’s remark to the conspiracy theory that “after the Mossad/CIA knocked down the World Trade Center they instructed Dr. Fauci through various proxies in 2002 to start developing bio weapons.”