Petition To Expel Marjorie Taylor Greene Circulates After She Compared Mask Mandates To Holocaust
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) condemned Greene’s comments while also accusing Democrats of ignoring “increased violence” against the Jewish community.
A petition to expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has amassed tens of thousands of signatures after the controversial lawmaker compared COVID-19-related mask mandates and vaccine policies to the Holocaust.
Army veteran David Weissman started the petition on Sunday, attracting more than 64,000 signatures as of Tuesday. The petition calls on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to expel Greene, a Donald Trump loyalist who was stripped of her committee roles earlier this year. Weissman is a former Trump supporter who now identifies as a Democrat, according to his self-description.
“She is an active security threat to her colleagues, is unfit to serve the good people of this country, and she's directly harmed our civil liberties and freedoms with her divisive and hateful rhetoric,” the petition reads.
Rep. Greene's remarks came amid an uptick of antisemitic attacks in the U.S. and a reported rise in online Holocaust denial conspiracy theories. Nazis systematically murdered roughly 6 million Jewish people during the Holocaust.
McCarthy issued a statement Tuesday calling Greene “wrong” for her comparisons but in the same breath accused the Democratic party of ignoring the “increased violence and threats” against the Jewish community.
“Marjorie is wrong, and her intentional decision to compare the horrors of the Holocaust with wearing masks is appalling,” McCarthy said. “The Holocaust is the greatest atrocity committed in history. The fact that this needs to be stated today is deeply troubling.”
Greene compared COVID-19 mandates to Nazi Germany on Thursday during an interview on “The Water Cooler with David Brody” on right-wing news network Real America’s Voice News. The outlet played a clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talking about continuing to enforce the mask mandate within Congress despite the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention’s recently revised guidance.
“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said during the interview. “You know, we can look back in 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.”
Pelosi’s decision to keep mask rules in effect comes as a large number of Republican leaders have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have not shared whether they have been. According to a CNN survey earlier in May, 100% of Democatic leaders in Congress said they had been vaccinated, compared to 44% of Republican members.
Greene also said Pelosi’s mask mandate was “abusing our individual freedoms.”
After facing a wave of backlash and calls for her expulsion, Greene doubled down on her remarks on Twitter and continued to draw comparisons to the Holocaust:
The American Jewish Congress condemned Greene’s remarks on Friday, demanding she “retract and apologize.”
“You can never compare health-related restrictions with yellow stars, gas chambers & other Nazi atrocities,” the organization wrote. “Such comparisons demean the Holocaust & contaminate American political speech.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) called the remarks “evil lunacy,” while Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said the comparison was “absolute sickness.”
On Tuesday, Republican Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan of Greene’s home state of Georgia called her remarks “embarrassing” and said Republican leaders need to put “leadership on display” instead of trying to “please somebody who’s a former president.”
“It's embarrassing as a Georgian, it's embarrassing as an American, it's embarrassing as a Republican, to hear somebody try to spew that type of misinformation and just hatred,” Duncan said.
Rep. Greene has faced significant criticism from members of her own party and others since she was elected to Congress in 2020.
She has become infamous for her controversial actions including endorsing violence against Democratic lawmakers, making anti-Semitic comments, and perpetuating baseless conspiracy theories about QAnon, election fraud, and school shootings. Rep. Greene has reportedly harassed other members of Congress, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Cori Bush (D-MO).
The House voted to demote her in February by removing her from her assignments on the House Budget and Education and Labor Committees. McCarthy has largely ignored Greene’s continued controversy and has in the past declined to reprimand the Georgia representative.