Greene compares mask and vaccine mandates to Holocaust; Republican leaders condemn her comments

Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., pulls down her mask, which reads "Trump won," to speak with a colleague as they await swearing in on the opening day of the 117th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

Some of U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's Republican colleagues are condemning language she used recently comparing wearing masks to the Holocaust.

In a number of social media posts over the past few days, Greene, who represents Northwest Georgia, has compared mask and vaccine mandates to the treatment of Jews by Nazis during the Holocaust.

"Vaccinated employees get a vaccination logo just like the Nazis forced Jewish people to wear a gold star," Greene said on Twitter on Tuesday.

Greene also compared the University of Virginia not allowing unvaccinated students to attend class in person to the treatment of Jews.

"It appears Nazi practices have already begun on our youth," she said on Twitter. "Show your VAX papers or no in person class for you. This is exactly what I was saying about the gold star."

Greene doubled down on the comparisons and has not apologized for them even after some swift pushback. Greene has said she didn't compare mask mandates specifically to the Holocaust, "only the discrimination against Jews in the early years."

Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy, who has in the past refused to publicly criticize Greene and is seen as one of her allies, issued a statement Tuesday condemning her language.

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

Last week, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a notice to Greene warning her that if she refused to wear a mask on the House floor, she would fined. Greene posted a video on her Twitter putting the notice in a paper shredder.

In an interview with the conservative news outlet Real America's Voice, Greene compared people being told to wear masks to Jewish people being told to wear a gold star.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will be in Dalton on Thursday night as part of her “America First” tour with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida. The two will be at the Dalton Convention Center. The event is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.

"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 said in the interview.

Rep. Liz Cheney, who Greene voted to have removed from her post as the GOP conference chair, called Greene's comments "evil lunacy."

Tim Burchett, R-Knoxville, chimed in on Twitter with a post saying, "I never ever compare anything to the Holocaust, unless it is the Holocaust."

Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said Greene was "an embarrassment to yourself and the GOP." Brooks and his organization's PAC have donated generously to the GOP in the past, according to the New York Times.

Greene doubled down on her comments yet again Tuesday, saying, "it's never been more important than now to stand up against forced vaccinations and mask mandates that the left is using to discriminate against Americans who refuse to comply.

"Their attempts to shame, ostracize and brand Americans who choose not to get vaccinated or wear a mask are reminiscent of the great tyrants of history who did the same to those who would not comply," Greene said on social media. "I'm sorry some of my words make people uncomfortable, but this is what the American left is all about."

Greene plans an appearance in Dalton this week with Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, to promote the "America First" ideas of former President Donald Trump.

Gaetz is in the midst of his own controversy as a longtime associate of his, Joel Greenberg, recently pleaded guilty to six of the nearly three dozen charges he faced, including sex trafficking of a minor. Greenberg admitted that he had paid at least one underage girl to have sex with him and other men and is cooperating with prosecutors in an ongoing investigation.

Gaetz was not mentioned in the plea agreement or during the court hearing. But Greenberg's cooperation - as a key figure in the investigation and a close ally of Gaetz - may escalate the potential legal and political liability that the firebrand Republican congressman is facing.

At a rally with Gaetz on Saturday in Arizona, Greene was critical of Republicans as well as Democrats.

"Just because you have an 'R' by your name and you say things doesn't mean you'll do them when you run the country," Greene said. "This is why so many people don't vote. They don't trust Republicans to do the job."

Contact Patrick Filbin at or 423-757-6476. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickFilbin.