The New York Post, which obtained video of Kennedy’s remarks, made during an event in New York, was the first to report on the comments.
“COVID-19 — there is an argument that it is ethnically targeted,” Kennedy said. “COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately. COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”
Kennedy made the comments while claiming the United States and China are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to develop biological weapons that target certain ethnic groups.
His comments quickly received widespread backlash inside and outside the political world, with many labeling them antisemitic and racist.
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance, told CBS News the organizations condemn Kennedy’s “reckless, harmful remarks.”
“Dangerous rhetoric rooted in misinformation and bigotry must not be normalized. As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, Asian American communities are rightfully concerned politicians will continue to double down on anti-Asian rhetoric to rile up their base,” she said.