House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., condemned Tuesday comments days ago about the Holocaust and mask-wearing rules by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI | License Photo
May 25 (UPI) -- The top three House Republicans on Tuesday condemned remarks and a comparison made by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene between COVID-19 mask rules and the Holocaust.
Greene, R-Ga., first made the comments on the conservative podcast, "The Water Cooler with David Brody," four days ago regarding House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanting to impose COVID-19 safety rules at the U.S. Capitol such as mask wearing and social distancing, and her encouragement of vaccination.
"We can look back in a time in history when people were required 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," Greene said on the conservative show.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., condemned Greene's comments in a statement on his website Tuesday, along with two other House Republicans in leadership positions.
"Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling," McCarthy said in the statement. "The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling."
"At a time when the Jewish people face increased violence and threats, anti-Semitism is on the rise in the Democrat Party and is completely ignored by Speaker Nancy Pelosi," he continued. "Americans must stand together to defeat anti-Semitism and any attempt to diminish the history of the Holocaust. Let me be clear: the House Republican Conference condemns this language."
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill criticized McCarthy for his slow response and failure to implement any consequences for Greene in a statement to The Hill.
"Leader McCarthy waited days to even issue a statement in response to one of his members demeaning the Holocaust, and he clearly intends to continue to welcome Marjorie Taylor Greene in the GOP and shield her from any real consequence or accountability for her antisemitism," Hammill said in the statement. "Leader McCarthy's silence has spoken volumes about his allegiance to the most extreme elements of the GOP Conference."
Lauren Fine, a spokeswoman for GOP Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told The Hill regarding Greene's comments "he does not agree with these comments and condemns these comparisons to the Holocaust."
"We also need to be speaking out strongly against the dangerous anti-Semitism that is growing in our streets and in the Democrat party, resulting in an alarming number of horrific violent attacks against Jews," Fine added.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., who recently replaced Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., ousted over her criticism of former President Donald Trump, as House Republican Conference Chairwoman, also condemned Greene's comments.
"Equating mask wearing and vaccines to the Holocaust belittles the most significant human atrocities ever committed," Stefanik tweeted. "We must all work together to educate our fellow Americans on the unthinkable horrors of the Holocaust."
Greene, who describers herself as a conservative freshman lawmaker, was previously stripped of her committee posts on Education and Labor and Budget committees due to her past support for QAnon and other extremist conspiracy theories. Among her conspiracy theories, Green promoted one that a space laser controlled by a wealthy Jewish family started the 2018 California wildfires.
Republicans alleged President Joe Biden and Democrats sided with Palestinians in recent Middle East fighting and allowed progressives, who they call "squad" members, to influence them, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., who condemned "apartheid" and "racist" policies in Israel, according to The Hill.
Despite the criticism, Greene doubled down Tuesday on her Holocaust remarks.
"Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like Nazi's forced Jewish people to wear a gold star," she tweeted Tuesday.
In a later tweet, Greene defended her comments.
"I never compared it to the Holocaust, only the discrimination against Jews in early Nazi years," she tweeted. "Stop feeding into the left wing media attacks on me. Everyone should be concerned about the squads support for terrorists and discrimination against unvaxxed people. Why aren't they?"