The mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, has apologized for defending the use of Holocaust imagery by critics of mask mandates.
Anchorage Assembly members are considering a measure to require masks in indoor public spaces and at large outdoor events, drawing condemnation from many in the community who attended public meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
Some of those who condemned the measure wore yellow Stars of David in protest. Four people were arrested, two for disorderly conduct and two for trespassing.
Anchorage Mayor Dave Bronson has said he would veto any mask mandates and spoke out against the measure at the Wednesday meeting, supporting those who were wearing the yellow Stars of David.
“We’ve referenced the Star of David quite a bit here tonight, but there was a formal message that came out within Jewish culture about that and the message was, ‘never again.’ That’s an ethos. And that’s what that star really means is, ‘We will not forget, this will never happen again.’ And I think us borrowing that from them is actually a credit to them,” Bronson said.
The comment drew condemnation from many Jewish groups and others who say it is wrong to use the plight of those from the Holocaust in a mask or vaccine mandate debate.
Bronson released a statement Thursday apologizing for his comment, according to the local outlet.
“I understand that we should not trivialize or compare what happened during the Holocaust to a mask mandate and I want to apologize for any perception that my statements support or compare what happened to the Jewish people in Nazi Germany,” Bronson said. “That was one of the most evil and darkest times in our world’s history ... if I offended anyone, I am truly sorry.”
There was another public meeting on Thursday to discuss the measure, which the assembly could pass and override a veto by Branson.