Over the weekend, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the world’s leading (translation: most dangerous) anti-vax conspiracy theorist, was one of many kooky speakers railing against COVID vaccines and mandates at a “Defeat the Mandates” rally in Washington, D.C.
“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you can hide in the attic like Anne Frank did,” said Kennedy. “Today the mechanisms are being put in place that will make it so none of us can run, none of us can hide.”
The outrageous comparison was immediately condemned by a Twitter account belonging to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Place and Museum, which was established in 1947 to preserve the memories of those lost—and what happened to them—in the concentration camps during the Holocaust.
“Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured & murdered by the totalitarian regime of Nazi Germany - including children like Anne Frank - in a debate about vaccines & limitations during global pandemic is a sad symptom of moral & intellectual decay,” they wrote.
Their statement prompted a Twitter user to tag in Kennedy’s wife, actress Cheryl Hines, saying, “You need to make a statement! Do you stand with your husband?”
A day later, on Monday evening, Hines finally broke her loud silence on the matter, replying, “My husband’s opinions are not a reflection of my own. While we love each other, we differ on many current issues.”
A Twitter user took issue with Hines’ vague response, writing, “How about this? ‘No one should compare anything to the horrors of the Holocaust. My husband was wrong to do so.’” That prompted Hines to reply, “Yes, I agree with you.”
Kennedy’s decision to compare COVID vaccine mandates—or the choice to get a vaccine in order to prevent the spread of a deadly, contagious virus—to the systematic annihilation of Jews during the Holocaust is particularly galling given that the hit show Hines stars in, Curb Your Enthusiasm, is populated by a cast of Jewish actors/characters, including star/creator Larry David, and is one of the most culturally Jewish programs in TV history.
Then again, there’s no bottom to Kennedy’s anti-vax crusade. One year prior to his Holocaust rant, he falsely tied baseball legend Hank Aaron’s death to the COVID vaccine.
On Tuesday afternoon, Kennedy tweeted that to “the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.”
“I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors,” he wrote. “My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control.”
But this isn’t his first mea culpa. In 2015, he also apologized after making the false claim that vaccinations cause autism and comparing it to the Holocaust. “They get the shot, that night they have a fever of 103 [degrees], they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone. This is a Holocaust, what this is doing to our country,” he said.
After the 2015 backlash, he apologized “to all whom I offended by my use of the word to describe the autism epidemic.” “I employed the term during an impromptu speech as I struggled to find an expression to convey the catastrophic tragedy of autism which has now destroyed the lives of over 20 million children and shattered their families,” he insisted.