Cheryl Hines is now slamming anti-vaccination remarks that made comparisons to the Holocaust from her husband, Robert Kennedy Jr., as both “reprehensible and insensitive.”
In a weekend anti-vaccine rally in Washington, Kennedy, a vocal opponent of getting shots to protect against being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19, suggested that life for unvaccinated Americans is tougher than it was for people in Nazi Germany.
“Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could hide in the attic like Anne Frank did,” Kennedy said.
Frank’s teenage diary documented her family’s years of hiding in Amsterdam before she died in a Nazi concentration camp.
Kennedy’s comments drew widespread criticism, including from the Auschwitz Memorial, which condemned the son of the former senator.
“Exploiting of the tragedy of people who suffered, were humiliated, tortured and 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 and intellectual decay,” the Auschwitz Memorial said in a tweet.
Hines, who stars alongside Larry David on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and tied the knot with Kennedy in 2014, tweeted on Tuesday: “My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate rally in D.C. was reprehensible and insensitive. The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything.”
“His opinions are not a reflection of my own,” Hines said.
Shortly thereafter, Kennedy apologized for his remarks on Twitter.
“I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry,” he tweeted.
Hines’s stronger tone came after she offered a more muted response to her husband’s controversial words just hours earlier. She tweeted on Monday night a reply to a Twitter user who questioned whether she stood with her husband.
“While we love each other, we differ on many current issues,” Hines said.
Hines said she agreed when another Twitter user suggested the actor should go further, with a statement that her spouse was “wrong” and that “no one should compare anything to the horrors of the Holocaust.”
“Yes, I agree with you,” Hines replied.
It’s not the first time that Kennedy has referenced the Holocaust in remarks about vaccines. In 2015, while criticizing vaccinating children, he said, “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.” Kennedy later issued an apology to “all whom I offended.”
—Updated at 2:23 p.m.