Republican lawmakers blasted Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., over the weekend for comparing the House’s mask mandate to the Holocaust.
The Republicans who criticized Greene were among those who either voted to impeach President Donald Trump this year or, in addition, voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of three House Republicans who voted both for Trump’s impeachment and to strip Greene of her committee assignments, tweeted that Greene’s remarks amount to “Absolute sickness.”
And Rep. Peter Meijer, R-Mich., said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the comments were “beyond reprehensible.”
“This is, I don’t even have words to describe how disappointing it is to see this hyperbolic speech that frankly amps up and plays into a lot of the antisemitism that we’ve been seeing in our society today,” he said.
In an appearance last week on the podcast “The Water Cooler with David Brody,” Greene lamented to a nodding Brody about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to maintain a mask mandate on the House floor because of concerns many GOP members may not be vaccinated.
“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said of Pelosi, D-Calif. “You know, we can look back in 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.”
She was referring to the millions of Jews who were forced to wear a Star of David on their clothes, sent to concentration camps and murdered during World War II. A poll conducted this year showed an increase in antisemitism around the world, as well as a lack of awareness about the Holocaust among adults under 40, 11 percent of whom said they believed it was caused by Jewish people.
A CNN survey this month found that fewer than half of House Republicans would say they had been vaccinated, compared to 100 percent of House Democrats. Greene said recently that Pelosi “cannot force” her to be vaccinated.
The American Jewish Congress called on Greene on Twitter to apologize and retract her comments, saying “such comparisons demean the Holocaust & contaminate American political speech.” A Change.org petition to have House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., expel her from Congress had attracted almost 25,000 signatures by late Sunday afternoon.
Greene has come under repeated scrutiny for her past promotion of conspiracy theories like QAnon and for having appeared to endorse violence against Pelosi before she sought office. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., condemned her for spreading “loony lies,” and the Democratic-controlled House remove her from committees in February in a vote backed by 11 Republicans.
CORRECTION (May 23, 2021, 8:30 p.m. ET): A previous version of this article misstated when CNN published a congressional vaccination poll. The poll was published May 14, not last week.