Former Rep. Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) Monday joined other family members in publicly condemning Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s recent remarks on COVID-19, which became public over the weekend and were widely criticized as antisemitic and anti-Asian.
“My uncle’s comments were hurtful and wrong,” the 42-year-old former congressman wrote in a tweet Monday. “I unequivocally condemn what he said.”
Kerry Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s sister, also publicly condemned the remarks.
“I strongly condemn my brother’s deplorable and untruthful remarks last week about Covid being engineered for ethnic targeting,” Kennedy said in a statement Monday through her family’s nonprofit organization, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
“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.”
RFK Jr. is facing mounting criticism from Democratic leaders after the New York Post reported on Kennedy’s comments.
In an audio recording obtained by the Post, Kennedy said the virus was a genetically engineered bioweapon that could have been “ethnically targeted” to prevent the deaths of Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people.
“These are deeply troubling comments and I want to make clear that they do not represent the views of the Democratic Party,” Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman Jaime Harrison tweeted in response.
Kennedy, who announced his 2024 presidential campaign in April, has long been a prominent vaccine skeptic. He has also repeatedly been criticized for promulgating conspiracy theories.
YouTube removed an interview between Kennedy and Jordan Peterson last month for violating its guidelines against vaccine misinformation.
Kennedy’s personal Instagram account was reinstated last month after he was permanently removed from the platform in 2021 for repeatedly posting misinformation about COVID-19.
This content was originally published here.