On Tuesday, the United States is expected to reach the milestone of 50 percent of American adults fully vaccinated against the global pandemic that's killed nearly 600 thousand Americans.
The development comes a little more than a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened its guidelines to say that fully vaccinated people can forego masks and capacity limits in most situations, a welcome change from the safety measures that have defined the past year.
As businesses begin opening up again, some of them have opted to verify that their patrons are indeed fully vaccinated, thereby allowing patrons to dispense with their masks and reach the closest levels of "normal" recreation seen since the pandemic upended daily life last year.
Though President Joe Biden's administration has repeatedly emphasized these so-called "vaccine passports" won't be mandated by the federal government, Republicans in Congress have railed against vaccine verifications implemented by private businesses.
Republican Congresswoman and prominent conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia is the latest to do so, and even went so far as to liken the measures to the atrocities committed by Nazis in Germany ahead of World War II.
Greene was doubling down on comments she made to the Christian Broadcasting Network, in which she said:
"You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star, and they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about."
After those comments drew backlash, Greene said:
"I think any rational Jewish person didn't like what happened in Nazi Germany, and any rational Jewish person doesn't like what's happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies."
With her recent tweets predictably inciting controversy, Greene accused people of "twisting her words."
In one of his most forceful rebukes yet, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California—who's hesitated to criticize Greene in the past—denounced her comments.
He said in a statement:
"Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling. The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling."
McCarthy has faced pressure from his critics to discipline Greene's incessantly belligerent behavior in Congress. While McCarthy supported measures to oust Congresswoman Liz Cheney of Wyoming from her Republican leadership position for calling out Trump's election lies, he's done little to rebuke Greene's most appalling moments, including the harassment of her Democratic colleagues.
McCarthy defended Greene when House Democrats stripped her of her committee assignments after unearthed social media posts showed her express support for the execution of her now-colleagues and for deranged far-right conspiracy theories.
People want McCarthy to take action, not make statements.
He was far from the only one to express disgust at her comments.
Greene's comments come as the nation sees an uptick in antisemitic attacks. Greene herself once presented the antisemitic conspiracy theory that the Rothschilds—a prominent Jewish billionaire family—were operating lasers that created forest fires.