Several Democratic politicians have called for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to be disinvited from testifying at a House hearing over “vile and dangerous” remarks he had made.
In a letter addressed to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), members of the Democratic Party asked that Kennedy, a presidential candidate on the Democratic side, be disinvited from testifying before the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
“We request that you rescind your invitation for Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to testify as a witness,” the letter from Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), Daniel Goldman (D-N.Y.), and Judy Chu (D-Calif.) read.
The letter addressed to McCarthy and Jordan came after Kennedy’s remarks over the weekend suggesting COVID-19 could have been designed as a bioweapon to target specific races, according to The New York Post.
“COVID-19. There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said during an event at Tony’s Di Napoli restaurant in New York. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s remarks this weekend were racist, anti-Semitic, and contemptible. They endanger Asian Americans and Jewish Americans across the country.— CAPAC (@CAPAC) July 17, 2023
The @Weaponization's brazenly political invitation to have him testify Thursday is similarly contemptible. https://t.co/FzZVaQggLt
The letter pointed to Kennedy’s recent remarks, describing them as “vile and dangerous antisemitic and anti-Asian conspiracy theories that tarnish his credibility as a witness.”
Kennedy’s remarks therefore “must not be legitimized with his appearance before the U.S. Congress nor given the platform of an official committee hearing to spread his baseless and discriminatory views,” the letter added.
“By promoting the unfounded notion that scientists are developing bioweapons that can target certain races and exempt others, while referring to Jews as a separate race, Mr. Kennedy is employing a pernicious form of antisemitism that has been used for centuries,” the letter continued. “This technique was used by Hitler claiming that there are biological differences between ethnic or racial groups to portray Jews as a lesser form of humanity, a steppingstone to justifying the annihilation of the Jews during the Holocaust.”
In a post on Twitter, Kennedy defended himself, saying he has “never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.”
The @nypost 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…— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) July 15, 2023
Kennedy explained that his comments, which had been made “during an off-the-record conversation” were meant to serve “as a kind of proof of concept for ethnically targeted bioweapons.”
McCarthy and Jordan both expressed that they “disagree” with what Kennedy said, though they ignored requests from the Democratic lawmakers to disinvite Kennedy.
“The hearing that we have this week is about censorship,” McCarthy said, according to The Hill. McCarthy added that he did not feel like “censoring” in this situation was “the answer here.”
Kerry Kennedy, Kennedy’s sister has also come out against her brother’s comments over the weekend, labeling his words as “deplorable and untruthful.”
“His statements do not represent what I believe or what Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights stand for, with our 50+ year track record of protecting rights and standing against racism and all forms of discrimination,” she said.