GOP congressman Thomas Massie deletes tweet comparing vaccine passports to Holocaust

Marjorie Taylor Greene made a rare apology after she also compared public safety measures to the genocidal policies of the Nazis

Andrew Naughtie
Thursday 26 August 2021 16:54 BST
Thomas Massie on why he attempted to block a Covid-19 disaster relief bill

A Republican congressman who has many times railed against public health measures meant to combat Covid-19 has been condemned for a deleted tweet that compared vaccine passports to the Holocaust.

Thomas Massie of Kentucky took down the tweet on Wednesday night, but not after it had been screen-shotted and widely shared.

The post featured an image of a hand with a number tattooed on its wrist in the style of a prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp. “If you have to carry a card on you to gain access to a restaurant, venue or an event in your own country,” it read, “that’s no longer a free country.”

Along with voting against many of the economic rescue measures taken under both the Trump and Biden administrations, Mr Massie is a vocal critic of the government response to Covid-19 in general, in particular what he calls the campaign to “force” all Americans to be vaccinated against the virus, which he has more than once likened to the actions of a totalitarian state.

Mr Massie claims not to be an anti-vaxxer, but simply an opponent of vaccine mandates. However, he is a prominent proponent of the theory that Covid-19 infections confer enough “natural immunity” on those infected that they do not necessarily need to take the vaccine.

This conflicts with messages from scientists, including at the World Health Organisation, who say that the level of immunity in those who have had the virus is hard to predict and can in fact be very low.

Mr Massie is not the first congressional Republican to compare public health measures to the genocidal policies of the Nazi Party. Most notorious for such claims is Marjorie Taylor Greene, the far-right freshman Georgia congresswoman who has previously been sanctioned by the House of Representatives for promulgating racist conspiracy theories and calls for violence against her political opponents.

Ms Greene was condemned earlier this year for condemning mask mandates to the Holocaust. As the furore persisted, she visited the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC, giving a press conference afterwards at which she apologised for her previous remarks.

“The horrors of the Holocaust are something that some people don’t even believe happened, and some people deny, but there is no comparison to the Holocaust,” she said to assembled journalists. “There are words that I have said and remarks that I have made that I know are offensive and for that I want to apologise.”

Mr Massie’s office has been contacted for comment.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in