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Friday, June 14, 2024

Antivaxxers and Antisemites

Since 2020, various white supremacist groups have incorporated anti-vaccine and COVID-19-related messaging into their propaganda.

The Goyim Defense League (GDL), a network of antisemitic provocateurs and white supremacists, has distributed fliers incorporating antisemitic anti-vaccine and COVID-19-related messages on at least 188 occasions since September 2021. For example, following reports that 2024 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., during a July 2023 event, suggested COVID-19 had been “engineered” to spare Ashkenazi Jews, GDL created a flier featuring his quote along with the message, “Does COVID-19 target Blacks and Whites?”
Other white supremacist groups – such as the National Socialist Movement (NSM), Active Clubs, Patriot Front, the New Jersey European Heritage Association (NJEHA) and Hundred Handers – have also incorporated anti-vaccine and COVID-19-related messaging into their propaganda since 2020.
Extremists and QAnon supporters have frequently participated in far-right political conferences that prominently feature anti-vax narratives, such as the “Reawaken America” tour in 2023. These events allowed convicted January 6th insurrectionist Dr. Simone Gold and Ann Vandersteel, a QAnon influencer and sovereign citizen, to rub elbows, and to hobnob with elected officials, political candidates and advisors to former President Trump, like Michael Flynn and Eric Trump. The appearance of political leaders and elected officials at these types of events lends legitimacy to anti-vaccine and other conspiratorial beliefs, helping to normalize and further propel them into the mainstream.