USA - Kansas lawmaker outrageously compares vaccine mandates to Holocaust

Rep. Barbara Landwehr/Youtube
- A Kansas state representative compared vaccine mandates to the Holocaust during a legislative hearing on Friday.

Rep. Barbara Landwehr’s comments came Friday after testimony from Cornell Beard, who is president of the Wichita Machinist and Aerospace Workers union, before the state’s Special Committee on Government Overreach and Impact of COVID-19 Mandates. Beard, who is black and said he is a “very, very conservative” Democrat, told the committee in written testimony that employees who refuse to work with unvaccinated individuals are “preserving and perpetuating the ideology of a modern-day racist.”

Echoing Beard’s comments while questioning him, Landwehr made the outrageous comparison between racism, antisemitism and people choosing not to get vaccinated. “This is racism against the modern day Jew, which is anyone that disagrees,” she said, bizarrely comparing the choice to be unvaccinated to a religion.

Later in the hearing, Landwehr doubled down and made a direct comparison to the Holocaust. She said a Democratic senator’s use of the phrase “go down a path” reminded her of a Nazi Germany documentary she had seen. After Cornell Beard, a union president, testified that vaccine mandates were akin to the yellow stars in Nazi Germany, Landwehr said, “Do I believe that’s what we’re trying to do? I hope not.”

“Now, do I believe that is what we’re trying to do?” she added. “I hope not because this is America and I don’t want to lose hope in it.” Landwehr later went on to say that a database tracking vaccine side effects included some “very scary stuff.”

None of the other lawmakers present expressed disagreement with Landwehr’s remarks, nor did they condemn them. Landwehr did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Rolling Stone.

Responding to the representative’s comments, Gavi Gellar, executive director of the American Jewish Committee of Greater Kansas City, told The Star that Landwehr’s comparison is a “false and slanderous attack.”

“It’s incumbent upon all Kansas state leadership to be speaking out forcefully against this type of language,” Gellar said. “This kind of language is a false and slanderous attack on Jews, on Jewish memory and Jewish identity.”