Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from the pandemic that's killed over 600 thousand Americans are skyrocketing yet again, despite the widespread availability of free vaccines whose safety and effectiveness has been repeatedly proven to slow the spread and offer a pathway back to regular daily life.
This is in no small part due to a right-wing media ecosystem that insists vaccines aren't to be trusted, that they're a means for government control, and that any effort to convince Americans to take the shot is a federal overreach that must be resisted.
As a result, Republican elected officials and media personalities have leapt to offer the most extreme comparisons. Far-right Fox News host Tucker Carlson compared vaccine requirements for private businesses to the racist carnage that terrorized Black people in the Jim Crow south. Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk likened them to apartheid.
The Biden administration's effort to recruit volunteers to go door-to-door in their own under-vaccinated communities with basic information on how to secure a vaccine was equally slammed by the Right, with far-right Georgia Congresswoman and prominent conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene comparing the effort to the atrocities of Nazi secret police. Fox News contributor Charlie Hurt likened the effort to Taliban rule.
And now, yet another GOP elected official has compared saving lives to arguably the most devastating atrocity in modern history.
Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky posted a wildly offensive meme that likened proof of vaccination cards—which some businesses and municipal governments are requiring for certain recreational activities—to the identification numbers tattooed on Jews, Queer people, and other marginalized groups as they entered concentration camps, millions of whom were subsequently murdered by the state.
Even if Massie's meme wasn't completely atrocious, it doesn't make logical sense. To drive a car or enter a bar in the United States, proof of age is required. If Massie's party had its way, photo identification would be mandatory nationwide before exercising one's right to vote (even though in-person voter fraud is practically nonexistent in the United States).
Massie's since-deleted sentiment saw widespread backlash.
The fallacies were glaring.
The right continues to rail against lifesaving vaccination efforts.