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Kentucky libertarian party compares vaccine passports to Holocaust badges

Kentucky libertarian party compares vaccine passports to Holocaust badges
© UPI Photo

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky drew widespread condemnation from political officials, Jewish groups and others after comparing proposed “vaccine passports” to the yellow stars Jewish people were mandated to wear during the Holocaust. 

“Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?” the party tweeted on Monday.

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Vaccine passports, like the ones launched in New York, are a digital document with a QR code placed on a cell phone that shows proof of inoculation. 

The vaccine passport could allow businesses and local governments to mandate that people show they have received a coronavirus vaccine to gain access to certain activities, buildings or events.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) called the state Libertarian Party’s comparison “shameful.” 

“There is no place for anti-Semitism in Kentucky,” Beshear added. 

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The Kentucky Democratic Party said the comments were “unconscionable and unacceptable,” accusing the Libertarian Party of being “extremely hurtful to Kentucky’s Jewish community” and trying “to reverse needed progress in our combined fight against COVID-19."

Mike Lonergan, the communications director of the Republican Party of Kentucky, on Tuesday said that the state GOP “will always condemn this kind of hateful and extreme rhetoric.”

The tweet also drew criticism from Jewish organizations. Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, shared an image of the tweet on Tuesday, calling it “an ignorant and shameful comparison.”

“The Holocaust was one of the darkest periods in our history with millions of lives lost, not a word to get thrown around to fit a narrative,” he shared.

Some Jewish people in areas of Europe were forced to wear the yellow Star of David badge under Nazi Germany in the early twentieth century, just years before World War II. 

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky on Tuesday claimed that their earlier message started “a conversation that needed to be had.” The party called the tweet “insensitive,” noting that Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, but denied that the message was anti-Semitic.

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Republicans across the country have also slammed the use of vaccine passports. 

Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Monday called the use of such medical documents "Biden’s mark of the beast," after claiming that the Biden administration was seeking to require that all Americans who are vaccinated must be documented. 

However, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden, Japan's PM focus on China, North Korea in first bilateral meeting Castro confirms he's stepping down as Cuban leader White House reverses course on refugee cap after Democratic eruption MORE on Tuesday pushed back against similar claims, stating that the Biden administration would not require the American public to be vaccinated, nor would it require people to document their vaccinations. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisOddsmakers say Harris, not Biden, most likely to win 2024 nomination, election Florida on track to pass 'anti-riot' law requiring state approval for decreases to city police budgets Florida education official tells school districts to make masks optional next year MORE (R) on Monday vowed to take executive action against vaccine passports. 

“We always said we wanted to provide it for all but mandate it for none,” DeSantis said in Tallahassee at the time. “And that was something that, while it was advised to take particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it.”