Wellstar Health System, an American healthcare company based in the State of Georgia, confirmed yesterday that an employee who made a TikTok video comparing the COVID-19 vaccine to the Holocaust is no longer employed by the organisation.
The video shows a woman, since identified as Jessica Renzi, in surgical scrubs talking to the camera, discussing COVID-19 vaccines and saying how she wanted to “do her part”. Ms Renzi can be heard saying: “Since we’re going to the vaccine passport and all those things, I thought I’d make it so much easier and I was just going to go ahead and get the number tattooed on me instead.” She then flips the camera around to reveal her arm, tattooed with the numbers ‘7734209’, which reads “GO2HELL” when viewed from the other way, in a style reminiscent of the tattoos forced upon Jews in Nazi concentration camps.
Ms Renzi, who was reportedly a surgical technician at Wellstar Health System’s Wellstone facility in Marietta, Georgia, allegedly created other videos seemingly similar in content before deleting her TikTok account.
Several people then sent tweets to Wellstar Health System informing the company of Ms Renzi’s video, to which it responded: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We cannot discuss personnel issues due to employee privacy. We are investigating in accordance with our mission, which is to care for the health and wellbeing of every person we serve. Thank you.”
However, shortly after, the company began responding to the tweets with the following statement instead: “Jessica Renzi is no longer employed by Wellstar Health System. We stand strongly against antisemitism & behaviour of any kind that does not serve our commitment to diversity, equity & inclusion.” The company also included a link to its “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” policy.
In May, Lily Ebert, a Holocaust survivor and educator, had her TikTok videos targeted by antisemitic trolls praising Hitler.
In October of last year, a director at TikTok told a Knesset Committee that hatred had “no place” on the video-sharing platform and that they would increase their efforts to remove antisemitic content.
Anti-lockdown and anti-vaccination networks have become known as hotbeds of antisemitic conspiracy theories and tropes.