In a tweet Wednesday, Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson compared D.C.'s COVID-19 vaccination proof requirements to the Holocaust.
In a reply to Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser's tweet about the city’s vaccination proof and mask requirements that begin Saturday, Davidson shared a photo of what appeared to be a Nazi-era health pass.
“This has been done before. #DoNotComply,” Warren wrote above the photo in a tweet.
After hundreds of users responded to Davidson and explained that this comparison was not only incorrect but incredibly offensive, the congressman doubled down.
“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,” he replied.
Davidson, who was elected in 2016, is a Republican who represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District, which includes Hamilton, Fairfield and Middletown north of Cincinnati as well as areas near Dayton.
In a later tweet, the congressman said he did not oppose vaccines; however, in a Facebook post, he called into question the current vaccines on the market, writing, “Congress needs to get the government focused on developing an actual vaccine. CDC doesn't need to lead the charge to destroy the English language, they need to read some peer-reviewed studies on natural immunity - and get busy.”
Davidson also posted the Frederick Douglas quote, “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress,” saying everyone should oppose vaccine passports. That, of course, was followed by another #DoNotComply.
Davidson has also compared vaccine mandates to the rule of Joseph Stalin.
The Ohio congressman's recent tweets have received backlash both online and off.
“For Congressman Davidson to equate vaccine mandates with the systematic extermination of six million Jews by the Nazis is beyond repugnant. We call on him to apologize for this hurtful and completely inappropriate comparison. Antisemitic tropes have no place in the conversation about Covid vaccines,” Kathy Heldman, director of the American Jewish Committee’s regional office in Cincinnati, said in a statement.
The Auschwitz Memorial’s official Twitter page also responded to Davidson writing, "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."
Davidson has also been called out on the irony of his statement compared to his stance on voter registration laws and abortion rights.
yeah, requiring people to carry papers is the door that leads to boxcars, prison camps, and ovens.— Lance Salyers (@lancesalyers) January 12, 2022
are you even dimly aware of the irony here? pic.twitter.com/jM4Vykt6bM
Women's uterus would like a word— Rhonda Harbison (@rhonda_harbison) January 12, 2022
At press time Wednesday evening, Davidson’s original tweet had not been deleted and he had not apologized for the comparison.
Davidson is just the latest Republican lawmaker from Ohio to inauthentically and incorrectly compare coronavirus public health protocols to Naziism or mass extermination.
Last year, Rep. Kris Jordan of Delaware County said, "It’s just a mask, wear it. It’s just a shot, take it. It’s just a boxcar, get in. Every step away from freedom is a step closer to dictatorship."
Also in 2021, U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel — who is Jewish — criticized vaccine passports, saying, "We’ve seen this before… Nazi Germany also registered citizens. Our Liberty is under attack!"
For the record, Anne Frank's stepsister and Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss will speak at Cincinnati's Holocaust & Humanity Center on Jan. 27 to honor International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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