Rep. Warren Davidson, R-OH, has issued an apology for a tweet this week that linked Washington, D.C.'s COVID-19 protocols to medical policies enacted in Nazi Germany.
The saga began on Tuesday afternoon when D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a reminder that D.C. officials would begin enforcing new COVID-19 rules that require people older than 12 to provide proof of vaccination to enter certain businesses.
Davidson, who is staunchly against vaccine mandates, retweeted Bowser's message and added an image of a document from Nazi Germany.
"This has been done before. #DoNotComply," Davidson said in retweeting Bowser.
Davidson's tweet received significant pushback from fellow lawmakers, leaders in the Jewish community and the Auschwitz Memorial, which commemorates the lives lost at one of the most brutal Nazi concentration camps.
"Exploiting of the tragedy of all people who between 1933-45 suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany in a debate about vaccines & covid limitations in the time of global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decay," the Auschwitz Memorial said in response to Davidson.
On Thursday, Davidson issued an apology, saying that "any reference to how the Nazis...prevents a focus on anything other than Holocaust."
He later clarified that he did not mean to compare vaccine mandates to the Holocaust, but to the ways that Nazis used "public health to dehumanize then segregate."