Greene Draws Rebuke for Comparing Vaccine Mandate to Nazi Acts

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia drew a rare condemnation on Tuesday from the top House Republican for the latest in a series of comments she has made comparing mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust.

In a series of posts on Twitter, Ms. Greene, a right-wing provocateur who previously endorsed a series of violent and racist conspiracy theories, has railed against decisions made by private businesses to impose vaccine mandates or drop mask requirements only for vaccinated individuals. Her comments came amid an uptick in anti-Semitic attacks on Jews across the nation.

“Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazi’s forced Jewish people to wear a gold star,” she wrote in one post on Tuesday.

In another, referring to a university barring unvaccinated students from attending classes in person, she wrote: “It appears Nazi practices have already begun on our youth. Show your VAX papers or no in person class for you. This is exactly what I was saying about the gold star.”

After Ms. Greene was met with a swift wave of public criticism, she refused to apologize, arguing that she had never compared mask mandates specifically to the Holocaust, which killed six million Jews, “only the discrimination against Jews in the early years.”

Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the minority leader, who has largely refrained from criticizing Ms. Greene even as she has courted controversy, issued a statement condemning her language.

“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust to wearing masks is appalling,” Mr. McCarthy said in a statement. “The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in human history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling.”

His rebuke came after one from the Republican Jewish Coalition, a prominent organization whose political action committee contributes generously to the G.O.P.

Matt Brooks, the group’s executive director, savaged Ms. Greene on Twitter, calling her “an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP.”

“Please educate yourself so that you can realize how absolutely wrong and inappropriate it is to compare proof of vaccination with the 6 million Jews who were exterminated by Nazis,” Mr. Brooks wrote.

Ms. Greene’s comments have created yet another problem for House Republican leaders, who recently attempted to take control of their political message by purging Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her post as the conference chair, citing her refusal to ignore former President Donald J. Trump’s lie of a stolen election. And they muddled a theme that Republicans have attempted to highlight in recent days as they have tried to paint Democrats as insufficiently supportive of Israel and the American Jewish community.

Mr. McCarthy declined earlier this year to take action against Ms. Greene for her earlier incendiary statements, including one in which she endorsed assassinating Speaker Nancy Pelosi, even as he disavowed the remarks themselves.

“Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference,” Mr. McCarthy said in February.

Some Republicans had argued it would be unfair to rebuke Ms. Greene for comments she made before serving in Congress. But after it emerged that the Georgia freshman had also suggested that a devastating wildfire that ravaged California was started by “a laser” beamed from space and controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family, the Republican Jewish Coalition stepped in and said it was “working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding next steps.”

Ms. Greene was never disciplined.

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