Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) slammed some of his GOP colleagues on Sunday for comparing the Biden administration’s latest COVID-19 vaccination campaign to Nazism.
The Illinois congressman appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union,” where he called Holocaust-invoking comments by Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Lauren Boebert (Colo.) “absolute insanity.”
“This is outrage politics that is being played by my party and it’s going to get Americans killed,” Kinzinger said. “Our party has been hijacked, my party has been hijacked. It is on its way to the ground, and for some people, it’s a fun ride, right? We can put this outrageous stuff on Twitter ― ‘Yeah, I’m getting all these retweets and everybody knows me, I’m famous’ ― but this plane is gonna crash into the ground.”
The congressman’s comments come days after Greene, who is known for spreading conspiracy theories, baselessly tweeted that COVID-19 is “a political tool used to control people” and that people don’t need what she called President Joe Biden’s “medical brown shirts showing up at their door ordering vaccinations.”
Greene, who has a history of saying public health guidance is akin to the Holocaust, was trying to compare health care response teams being deployed to under-vaccinated communities with a high incidence of the virus to the Nazi Party Brownshirts, a paramilitary group that helped facilitate Adolf Hitler’s rise to power by violently intimidating Jews.
On Thursday, Boebert tweeted that Biden “has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County.” The Auschwitz Memorial replied to her tweet, saying that “instrumentalization of the tragedy of all people who … were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the hateful totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”
Both women’s remarks were in response to the administration’s new targeted community outreach program that aims to make sure every individual in the country has the opportunity to get vaccinated against the virus. The president announced the program as the delta variant spreads throughout the country. Almost all of those getting infected by the delta variant are unvaccinated.
“Now we need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood and oftentimes door to door ― literally knocking on doors ― to get help to the remaining people” who have not been vaccinated, Biden said.
Far-right lawmakers used the president’s comments to try and spread the implausible idea that the Biden administration will enter homes and force individuals to get the vaccine, among other things. While Boebert and Greene invoked Nazi-era imagery to mock the program, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) compared the door-knocking campaign to the Soviet Union, and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) said the administration will use the same method to take Americans’ guns and Bibles.
Kinzinger said that while Biden probably could have better articulated the plan, the administration never said “they’re going to break down your door, and jam a vaccine in your arm despite your protest.”
“Listen, if you are a Republican voter, do not listen to Marjorie Taylor Greene. The vaccine is safe, COVID is real,” he continued, saying that GOP leaders like House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) must encourage Americans to get vaccinated and must “call out these garbage politicians, these absolute clown politicians playing on your vaccine fears for their own selfish gain.”
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