representative Thomas MassieThomas Harold Massie Sixth House GOP Legislator Issued K Metal Detector Fine (R-Ky.) Deleted a tweet on Wednesday that compared vaccination records with the identification numbers that Nazis forcibly tattooed on concentration camp inmates during the Holocaust.
Screenshots of Massie’s tweet circulated on Twitter shortly after it was deleted, sparking a backlash. The original tweet featured a black and white photo of a clenched fist with numbers tattooed on the wrist. It was headlined, “If you need to have a card with you to access a restaurant or venue in your country … this is no longer a free country.”
According to a Screenshot shared by CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski, Massie posted the tweet at 3 p.m. and picked it up at 11 p.m. the same day.
Around 400,000 Holocaust victims and survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp complex received tattooed serial numbers that served as a means of identification and dehumanization.
Massie’s caption refers to vaccine passports currently being discussed in Kentucky and across the country. Kentucky does not require residents to have paper records showing they have been vaccinated against COVID-19, but private workplaces and venues can require proof of vaccination.
Andrew Zirkle, who identified himself as an intern for Massie’s office on Twitter, said Thursday that he broke off his internship in response to Massie’s tweet.
“The tweet that Congressman Massie posted last night comparing vaccination records with the Holocaust was impervious not only to Holocaust survivors, but also to the millions who died as a result. The anti-Semitic nature of the post cannot be excused, and therefore I cannot continue in my current position with a clear conscience, “said Zirkle in a statement published on Twitter.
Massie’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.
The Kentucky Democratic Party issued a statement criticizing Massie’s tweet, calling it an embarrassment for the Commonwealth.
“Denigrating the victims and survivors of the Holocaust just to score cheap political points is ignorant, shameful, and has no place in our politics or American society. Are you trying to quietly delete his tweet without apologizing for his ignorant and offensive behavior? It’s pathetic, ”said party leader Colmon Elridge.
Massie isn’t the first GOP lawmaker to spark a backlash for comparing aspects of the coronavirus pandemic with the Holocaust.
In May, Rep. Marjorie Taylor GreeneMarjorie Taylor GreeneGOP’s efforts to downplay the threat of Capitol rioting are on the rise in The Memo: What Now For Anti-Trump Republicans? MP Marjorie Taylor Greene says she will meet Trump “soon” in Florida MORE (R-Ga.) have made several comments Comparing COVID-19 Security Protocols to the Holocaust.
Greene said the house’s request to wear a mask on the floor was reminiscent of the Holocaust. Days later, she tweeted that a grocery store’s policy of labeling vaccinated employees with logos on their nameplates “was just like the way the Nazis forced Jews to wear a gold star.
she later apologized for the remarks.