WASHINGTON—U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday condemned remarks by Georgia’s Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the wearing of masks and vaccination logos to the persecution and murder of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust.
Greene, a Republican, in an interview last week with the Christian Broadcasting Network made the comparison, according to CNN, and she did so again on Twitter on Tuesday.
“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” Greene, a Republican, tweeted.
Her comments accompanied a retweet of an article about the Food City grocery chain’s new mask policy, which will include employees wearing logos that show they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. As of Tuesday, 50 percent of all U.S. adults have been fully vaccinated, according to the White House.
“Vaccine passports & mask mandates create discrimination against unvaxxed people who trust their immune systems to a virus that is 99% survivable,” Greene said.
Nearly 600,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus.
CNN and others last week reported that Greene said on the Christian Broadcasting Network, referring to U.S. House rules that require members wear masks on the floor: “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
McCarthy in his statement issued Tuesday said, “Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling.”
He continued: “At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust.”
“Let me be clear,” he added, “the House Republican Conference condemns this language.”
The Nazis murdered 6 million Jews. The star Greene is referring to was not gold, but made of a yellow cloth as a way to make it easier for Nazis to identify Jewish people for discrimination, deportation to concentration camps and segregation.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, called Greene’s comments “sickening,” during a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
“She should stop this vile language immediately,” he said.
“This is demented and dangerous,” Kinzinger wrote on Twitter. “There is no comparison. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: while we cannot stop her from calling herself a Republican, we can and should refuse to let her caucus with the @HouseGOP.”
Greene defended her comments against critics in another tweet, saying “I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years. Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me.”
Greene has previously made anti-Semitic comments and has tied baseless QAnon conspiracy theories to Jewish people. She has also falsely pushed the idea that Americans will be required to carry around vaccine passports, which is not public policy.
Greene was stripped earlier this year of her committee assignments for her past social media postings in which she supported violence against Democratic leaders and lawmakers.