Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said he blames former President Donald Trump for the medical and economic devastation caused by the 2020 lockdown—even though it wasn’t his idea—because he was the president of the United States at the time and “the buck stops” with him.
Kennedy, the third of 11 children of the late Sen. Robert Kennedy and Ethel Skakel Kennedy, made the remarks as he launched his bid to run for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in Boston, Massachusetts.
His candidacy has debuted with the support of 14 percent of voters who backed Joe Biden in 2020, according to a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll.
“The lockdown was the biggest shift in wealth in human history,” RFK Jr. told the overflow, standing-room-only crowd at Boston Park Plaza. “I blame President Trump for the lockdown.”
While admitting that Trump gets blamed for a lot of things he didn’t do, Kennedy declared that “the worst thing that he did to this country, to our civil rights, to our economy, and the middle class in this country was the lockdown.”
The Democrat noted “in fairness” that Trump often tells people that “the lockdown wasn’t my idea—my bureaucrats rolled me on it—I was saying we shouldn’t do it.”
Indeed, former NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Deborah Birx have been credited with pushing for the lockdown policies behind the scenes.
“But that’s not a good enough excuse,” RFK Jr. declared. “He was the President of the United States, and as Harry Truman said, ‘the buck stops here.'”
Kennedy revealed that 600 doctors on May 2, 2020 signed a letter to President Trump begging him to reconsider the lockdowns. But it fell on deaf ears.
The Democrat said that at the time, all of the pandemic protocols in the world, including the WHO CDC, and European Health Agency, recommended against doing mass lockdowns.
The thinking was that lockdowns cause “much worse havoc and deaths and injuries,” the Democrat explained.
He added that “the standard protocol” was locking down the sick protecting the vulnerable, and letting everybody else go back to work, “otherwise you’re going to wreak havoc.”
Kennedy said “study after study” now shows that the more nations locked down, the more COVID deaths and excess deaths they saw.
Sweden, which didn’t lock down, ended up with the lowest excess death rate in Europe, Kennedy noted. Early on, however, it looked to some like Sweden had made a mistake. In April of 2020, Trump chastised Sweden for not locking down: “Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown,” he tweeted. “As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighboring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443). The United States made the correct decision!”
Despite reports to the contrary, Sweden is paying heavily for its decision not to lockdown. As of today, 2462 people have died there, a much higher number than the neighboring countries of Norway (207), Finland (206) or Denmark (443). The United States made the correct decision!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2020
“The country that led the lockdown was us and we had the highest body count of COVID on earth,” RFK Jr continued. “We have 4.2 percent of the world’s population, we had 16 percent of the COVID deaths. At some point, even the media is going to have to stop saying this was a success story!” Kennedy added that “the health issues are almost dwarfed by the economic cataclysm that befell our country.”
Trump has never apologized for locking down the country.
“The International Monetary Fund and Harvard study by Larry Summers found that the cost of the lockdown to the United States was $16 trillion—$16 trillion for nothing!” Kennedy exclaimed. “We shifted $4 trillion from the middle class in this country to the super rich. We created 500 new billionaires and the existing billionaires increased their wealth by 30 percent,” he continued.
“This was a gift to the rich and the people who got richest were the social media companies like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft that were conspiring with President Trump’s White House to censor people like me,” RFK Jr. added. “So the very people who were profiting on those lockdowns, were the ones who were strip-mining the wealth from the middle class in this country.”
Kennedy said the lockdown allowed Amazon to “shutdown all of its competitors —3.3 million businesses it shut down.”
“I’m in a lawsuit with Amazon for censoring one of my books, Kennedy noted. “They were censoring people who were critical of the lockdowns while they were raking in the money from the lockdowns,” he added. “Unfortunately President Trump’s White House was colluding with them,” he maintained, although The Real Anthony Fauci was published in 2021, after Trump left the presidency.
RFK Jr. blames President Trump for the lockdowns & says over 600 doctors wrote & signed a letter to him begging him not to allow them.
— Morgan Ariel (@itsmorganariel) April 19, 2023
Independent journalist Matt Taibbi reported that the Twitter files showed that the Trump White House made censorship requests during the pandemic, but nowhere near as frequently as the Biden regime.
Kennedy also emphasized the importance of civil liberties, honest government and freedom of speech.
“Good environmental policy is always identical to good economic policy if we measure our economy based on how it produces jobs over the long term and how it preserves the value of the assets of our community,” he said.
“The government/media strategy of censoring dissonant voices is not only antithetical to our most fundamental values, it is counterproductive in that it fuels the flames of polarization, alienation, and anger,” Kennedy stated.
The Democrat also emphasized his priorities of peace, economic revitalization, and unity.
“During this campaign and during my administration my objective will be to make as many Americans as possible forget that they are Republicans or Democrats and remember that they are Americans,” Kennedy said. “We need to focus on the values we share instead of the issues that divide us.”
Full speech below: