Congressman Thomas Massie has reportedly tweeted and deleted an image that compared vaccine passports to the Holocaust.
The Republican representative for the State of Kentucky’s 4th congressional district posted the tweet on Wednesday. The image depicted an arm with numbers written on it in a style reminiscent of the tattoos forced upon Jews in Nazi concentration camps. Accompanying the image, it says: “If you have to carry a card with you to gain access to a restaurant, venue or an event in your own country…that’s no longer a free country”.
Comparisons between vaccines and the Holocaust have been made across the world, including in the United States, Canada, Ukraine and elsewhere, as anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.
Campaign Against Antisemitism recently published a resource on Instagram detailing why it is wrong to compare vaccines to the Holocaust.
Rabbi Shlomo Litvin of Lexington, Kentucky condemned the tweet in a statement, writing: “This shameful tweet shows tremendous ignorance of public policy, history, and a horrible lack of judgment. While we are relieved the congressman deleted the ill-thought-out tweet, such comments must be repudiated. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson my personal mentor and the foremost Jewish leader of the modern era, spoke often about the need not only for education but for moral education. Ignorance like this lays to bare that need in our society today, and I have reached out to Congressman Massie’s office with an offer to share our communities perspective and to educate.”
In April, Rabbi Litvin criticised Kentucky’s Libertarian Party after it compared vaccine passports to the yellow stars which Jews were forced to wear by the Nazis during the Holocaust as “morally wrong”, adding that the comparison minimised “the horrors inflicted on millions of people.”
On Monday, we reported that Wellstar Health System, an American healthcare company based in the State of Georgia, confirmed that an employee who made a TikTok video making a similar comparison was no longer employed by the organisation.