Kennedy, a longtime opponent of vaccines, invoked Nazi Germany in his screed against vaccination mandates Sunday, at the Lincoln Memorial, and suggested that Frank was better off than Americans whose jobs require them to get vaccinated. . He later apologized for the reference.
“My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a DC Warrant rally was reprehensible and insensitive”, Hines tweeted
Tuesday. “The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anyone or anything. His views do not reflect mine.”
Kennedy was one of several speakers at Sunday’s anti-vaccine mandate rally who compared requirements for Covid-19 vaccines in the United States to Nazi Germany, CNN Politics reported.
“Even in Hitler’s (sic) Germany you could, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” Kennedy said in her speech. “I visited, in 1962, East Germany with my father and I met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died, it is true, but it was possible.”
Frank was one of approximately 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Frank, who would be 15 when she died, hid in an attic in the Netherlands before being captured and sent to a concentration camp.
Kennedy apologized in a tweet Tuesday for invoking Frank’s name, tweeting that his “intent was to use examples of past barbarism to show the dangers of new technologies of control.”
“I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially the families who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust,” he said. tweeted
. “To the extent that my remarks hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.”
Hines responded to her husband’s comments in a less specific statement on Monday, in which she replied to a tweet with
, “My husband’s views do not reflect mine. Although we love each other, we differ on many hot topics.” She made it clear that she disagreed with Kennedy’s comments about Frank when pressed by Twitter users. including NBC News Senior Reporter Ben Collins
But Kennedy once likened vaccine requirements to the Holocaust. In 2015, during a screening of a film that focused on inaccurate claims that vaccines can cause autism, he called the number of children “hurt” by vaccines (again, a baseless claim ) “Holocaust,” CBS News
reported at the time. He later apologized for making the comparison, but doubled down on his inaccurate claims about vaccines causing autism.
Kennedy, who married Hines in 2014, late last year said Hines asked guests at a holiday party they were hosting to get vaccinated or test negative before arriving. He told Politico that while Hines was enforcing the vaccine recommendations, neither took steps to verify the status of vaccination or testing.