WASHINGTON — Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Ohio, on Wednesday compared Covid vaccination mandates to the Holocaust, a statement that was met with swift backlash from Jewish groups.
Davidson made the comparison by retweeting a post from Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser about a new vaccination policy and sharing the photo of a health pass that people were required to carry under the Nazi regime.
Bowser’s tweet was a reminder that starting Saturday, people over age 12 will need to present proof of at least one Covid vaccine dose to enter indoor food and drink establishments in Washington, such as restaurants, nightclubs, taverns, coffee shops and food halls.
Davidson, who was elected in 2016 to the seat previously held by former House Speaker John Boehner, wrote of the Nazi document: “This has been done before. #DoNotComply.”
“Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them,” Davidson tweeted.
Davidson’s comments were criticized by Jewish groups, which accused him of "exploiting" the Holocaust.
“Exploiting of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany in a debate about vaccines & covid limitations in the time of global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay,” the Auschwitz Memorial tweeted.
The Anti-Defamation League tweeted: "It's never appropriate to compare requirements for public health with the tactics of Nazi Germany. As we've said too many times to count, minimizing the Holocaust in this way is deeply offensive and harmful."
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum added on Twitter that "comparing the Holocaust to pandemic precautions is inaccurate and offensive."
Davidson is among several Republican elected officials who have publicly compared Covid mandates to the Holocaust. His colleague Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has made a number of similar comments, including comparing mandatory mask-wearing to the yellow stars of David that the Nazis forced Jews to wear. Greene apologized for the remarks after she visited the Holocaust Museum. Just a few weeks later, she referred to Nazi-era "brown shirts" in opposing the vaccination push.
In August, the chairman of Oklahoma’s Republican Party compared private companies that require employees to get vaccinated to Nazis who forced Jews to wear the yellow stars.