By Alex Rogers, CNN
Ohio Republican Representative Warren Davidson apologized Thursday for comparing Washington, DC’s Covid-19 safety protocols to Nazi Germany.
“Bad things happen when governments dehumanize people,” Davidson said in a Tweeter. “Sometimes there’s a next step: systematically separating them. Unfortunately, any reference to how the Nazis actually did this precludes focusing on anything other than the Holocaust.”
“I appreciate my Jewish friends who have explained their views and I feel awful for having offended anyone,” he added. “My sincere apologies.”
Earlier this week, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Twitter that residents and adult visitors will be required to have proof of vaccinations, photo ID and a mask while in public.
Davidson responded with a tweet of an image of a Nazi document and wrote, “It’s already been done. #DoNotComply.”
“Remember that the Nazis dehumanized the Jews before segregating them, segregating them before imprisoning them, imprisoning them before enslaving them, and enslaving them before slaughtering them,” he added.
Davidson’s comments were widely condemned. The Anti-Defamation League said: “It is never appropriate to compare public health demands with the tactics of Nazi Germany. As we have said too many times to count, minimizing the Holocaust in this way is deeply offensive and harmful.”
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who is Jewish, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday that he confronted Davidson about the tweet. “I said I would debate mandates and tyranny whenever he wanted, but there is no debate about the offense of his position,” Phillips said. “He could have cared less.”
Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also responded to Tapper, saying, “This is the new policy. It’s not about leading anymore. It’s about how to outrage the other person.”
“It’s crazy,” Kinzinger added. “Every Republican leader must condemn this kind of BS right now.”
Following Davidson’s apology on Thursday, Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks tweeted, “Congressman, thank you for this sincere apology and clarification.”
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CNN’s Brian Rokus and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.