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JFK Nephew rebuked over COVID conspiracy theory

Robert F Kennedy Jr is running for US president as a Democrat, but the unusual backing he is receiving from right-wingers and his history of amplifying conspiracy theories has raised suspicions about his motivations.

Over the weekend, Mr Kennedy doubled down on remarks suggesting Covid-19 may have been “ethnically targeted” to “attack” Caucasians and black people but spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.

Arguing he had “never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered”, the candidate alleged he was being smeared and cited a study published by the National Institutes of Health looking at how human genetic factors contribute to Covid transmission.

But an author of the study told the BBC’s US partner, CBS News, that its findings had “never supported” Mr Kennedy’s claims.

“This type of misinterpretation will hurt academic research to help us end the pandemic,” the author said in an emailed statement.

It is the latest debunked claim from a lawyer once celebrated as a champion of the environment, who has dedicated his energy in the past two decades to anti-vaccine activism and who last year referred to pandemic health measures as “fascism” not seen “even in Hitler’s Germany”.

Yet Mr Kennedy, 69, has seen support as high as 21% in national opinion polls since his April launch and is polling even now in the mid-to-high teens despite holding few campaign events.

That suggests some degree of disaffection among Democratic voters with President Joe Biden, who is seeking re-election at 80 years old and with an approval rating of 41%.

It may also have something to do with the challenger’s famous last name. He is the nephew of former President John F Kennedy and the third child of former Attorney General Robert F Kennedy.


Source: BBC

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