Kentucky representative Thomas Massie sparked backlash after he tweeted a photo of a person’s wrist with numbers tattooed onto it. During the Nazi reign, prisoners sent to concentration camps were tattooed with numbers as a way to identify them.
The photo was captioned: “If you have to carry a card on you to gain access to a restaurant, venue or an event in your own country...that’s no longer a free country.”
While he later deleted the tweet, it did not escape the attention of CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski, who shared a screenshot of it.
Republican Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie deleted a tweet Wednesday night comparing vaccine mandates to the Holocaust. https://t.co/QTSSH7eqpY
Wearing a mask is not the same as the Holocaust. Nor are vaccinations. Come on world, there are ofcourse difficult… https://t.co/3SapZrMNBB
— Dr Benjamin Janaway (@Dr Benjamin Janaway)
If you compare mask mandates or anything related to #COVID19 prevention to the Holocaust try reading about the Holo… https://t.co/zgT7be78bN
— Eric Garcia for Congress (@Eric Garcia for Congress)
As in other countries and regions, lawmakers and businesses in Kentucky are debating whether certain venues should force people to prove they have been vaccinated in order to enter them, in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19. Those against the policy state concerns about their civil liberties.
And it is not the first time a Republican politician has caused outrage by likening measures to control a global pandemic to a genocidal regime. In May, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who represents Georgia, called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi “mentally ill” for supporting mask mandates and compared them to wearing “gold stars” - used in the Holocaust to identify Jewish people.
Undeterred, she later tweeted out a news story about a supermarket chain that planned to allow vaccinated workers to go maskless and said: “Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star.”
In June, she finally apologised after she visited a Holocaust museum and learnt what actually happened.
That that backlash hasn’t made Massie think twice before making his own crass comparison is disappointing, to say the least.
indy100 has contacted Massie to comment on this story.