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Racist COVID Claims Spread by RFK, Jr. and Other Demagogues Are Deadly

Personalabs STD testing

Personalabs STD testing

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., has floated a conspiracy theory that COVID “ethnically targeted” white and Black people and spared Ashkenazi Jewish and Chinese people. While this racist and antisemitic claim was, and is, easily debunked by global data on COVID cases and deaths, it was presented by Kennedy as a scientific theory and was widely circulated.

It’s not the first time that claims about COVID have spread. Throughout the pandemic, similar claims have been made about genetic differences in susceptibility to COVID among populations. Each claim has proposed a unique biological reason why racial or ethnic groups have been more or less likely to be at risk of infection.  As with Kennedy’s nonsensical assertion about Jewish and Chinese people, these claims have been refuted by the data. COVID cases and deaths reveal that the likely drivers of differential susceptibility during the pandemic were poverty and having a job that made one more exposed to the COVID-causing virus.

Fear and bigotry make it surprisingly easy to convince people of racial and ethnic differences in…

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