GOP congressman compares virus safety guidelines to 'Nazi Germany'

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The comment came as the Jewish community prepared to celebrate Passover.

Days before the Jewish community celebrated Passover, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) compared the government's social distancing guidance to Nazi Germany.

"There was a Maine sheriff today who basically told the Maine governor to pound sand," Roy said during a Monday radio interview on the Mark Levin Show. "He is not going to go around and check people when they are driving around the state of Maine. We need more of that. We need more rational human beings that are going to step back and say 'no, this isn't a police state, this isn't Nazi Germany, this isn't Russia, we're not going to do that.'"

The state of Maine, along with most states in the nation, has issued stay-at-home orders in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Roy's comment referring to Nazi Germany came just two days before the Jewish community celebrated Passover, a holiday commemorating the freedom of the Israelite people from slavery in Egypt.

Nazis murdered an estimated six million Jews during the Holocaust.

"The Nazi regime's persecution of Jews was one of man's most evil acts and should never be used by members of Congress for talk radio hyperbole," Avery Jaffe, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a Tuesday email.

"Congressman Roy equating common-sense public health measures with 'Nazi Germany' would show a profound lack of judgment at any time, but his invocation while medical professionals are asking for our help to save lives is despicable," Jaffe added.

On April 1, CNN reported that early indications from some areas show social distancing may be stemming the spread of the virus.

On April 6, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said about social distancing, "despite all the suffering, and the death that has occurred, that what we have been doing has been working."

But Roy said such measures were akin to a dictatorship.

"I always get entertained or really frankly ticked off at these local county judges and mayors and these little tin-pot dictators, that are making decisions about peoples' lives when they declare what is and is not an essential business," Roy said in the same interview.

Roy has a history of making insensitive comments.

In 2019, Roy said it was "fine" that six children died after being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. Later that year, he complained about terminology, saying it was inappropriate to refer to the cages children were locked in as "cages."

During a July 2019 congressional hearing, Roy said members of Congress "demean" law enforcement "when we call them cages."

As of Thursday morning, at least 429,264 people in the U.S.  tested positive for COVID-19, according to the New York Times, and at least 14,820 people have died.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.