Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. attempted to walk back his controversial remarks suggesting that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to spare Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese people on Saturday.

Kennedy, who is a prominent anti-vaccine activist, said at a press event on Tuesday night that COVID-19 was “ethnically targeted” to attack “certain races disproportionately.”

“There is an argument that it is ethnically targeted. COVID-19 attacks certain races disproportionately,” Kennedy said in a video obtained by the New York Post. “COVID-19 is targeted to attack Caucasians and Black people. The people who are most immune are Ashkenazi Jews and Chinese.”

Several lawmakers slammed the long shot Democratic candidate over the remarks on Saturday.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said on Twitter that Kennedy’s comments represented “Vile antisemitic tropes and Sinophobia” and “Insulted countless families who lost loved ones to the virus.”

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) similarly noted that “millions and millions of people” died from COVID-19, including Americans of Jewish and Chinese descent.

“If you still support the wacky, narcissistic, racist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., then that says more about you than it does about him,” Lieu added in a tweet.

After facing backlash over the remarks, Kennedy claimed on Twitter that the New York Post story was “mistaken” and that he “never, ever suggested that the COVID-19 virus was targeted to spare Jews.”

“I do not believe and never implied that the ethnic effect was deliberately engineered,” Kennedy added.

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