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Warren Davidson apologizes for comparing vaccine, mask mandates to Nazi Germany

Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in his Congressional office.
Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, in his Congressional office.(Deirdre Shesgreen/The Enquirer)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 12:25 PM EST
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CINCINNATI - U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson on Thursday apologized for a tweet that drew condemnation from Jewish organizations around the world.

“For my Jewish Friends, and all others, my sincere apologies,” Davidson, a Republican from Troy, tweeted.

According to our media partners at the Cincinnati Enquirer a day earlier, Davidson in a tweet compared vaccine and mask mandates to practices in Nazi Germany.

Davidson, who represents a largely rural district in western Ohio that includes Cincinnati’s northern suburbs in Butler County, tweeted out early Wednesday morning a picture of a “gesundheitspass” from Nazi Germany, which he purports was a “health pass” issued by the Nazis.

Davidson then added, “This has been done before. #DoNotComply.” It was a response to a tweet from Washington, D.C.’s mayor reminding people of a requirement to wear a mask and show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants, bars and certain other public businesses.

The comparison of regulations meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 to genocide during the Holocaust sparked outcry from the Auschwitz Memorial, the American Jewish Committee and other Jewish organizations from around the world.

Davidson began his apology on Thursday with a quote from Mark Twain, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

“I had hoped to point that out,” Davidson wrote in his tweet on Thursday. “Bad things happen when governments dehumanize people. Sometimes, there is a next step-to systematically segregate them. Unfortunately, any reference to how the Nazis actually did that prevents a focus on anything other than the Holocaust. I appreciate my Jewish friends who have explained their perspectives and feel horrible that I have offended anyone. My sincere apologies.”

Davidson is the second Cincinnati-area lawmaker in the past year to stir controversy comparing regulations meant to stop the spread of COVID-19 with Nazi Germany.

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, the Republican who represents Northern Kentucky, tweeted, and then deleted, in August a photo comparing so-called vaccine passports to the identification numbers Nazis tattooed on people imprisoned during the Holocaust.

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