Right-wing activists are now calling vaccine requirements 'medical apartheid'


The ahistorical comparison comes as other GOP legislators equate vaccine requirements to the horrors of the Holocaust.

Requiring vaccines for students is akin to "medical apartheid," Turning Point USA Founder Charlie Kirk said last night on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

"At Turning Point USA we are going to give everything we have to make sure that students are not going to have to live in a medical apartheid because they don't want to get the vaccine," Kirk said.

Kirk's statement is the latest outlandish comparison, equating the Biden administration's campaign to vaccinate the population to historical evils.

On Thursday, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) tweeted that "Biden has deployed his Needle Nazis to Mesa County" and the day before, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) complained of "medical brownshirts" showing up at people's door to encourage them to be vaccinated.

The statements come as President Joe Biden has pledged to go door-to-door to urge Americans to get the vaccine, earning Republican furor and cries of tyranny.

"It's almost this apartheid-style open-air hostage situation, like, 'oh you can have your freedom back if you get the jab.' This is unacceptable, we're going to fight back against it," Kirk told Carlson.

Kirk appears to have lifted the term "medical apartheid" from scholars who coined it to identify race-based inequality in access to health care and health care outcomes both in South Africa and in the United States.

It's also the name of a 2007 book by writer and medical ethicist Harriet Washington, which chronicles abusive experimentation on African Americans throughout history.

"Strategic shift in rightwing messaging from the Holocaust to apartheid," Mother Jones Washington Bureau Chief David Corn noted on Twitter following Kirk's appearance.

The co-founder of a conservative college advocacy nonprofit, Kirk is pushing a new campaign, "Educate. Don't Mandate," as hundreds of universities nationwide are requiring students to show proof of vaccination before returning to school for the fall semester.

"TPUSA is fighting the battle on 2,500+ campuses where rogue administrators are trying to thwart students educational goals and force them to publicly share their medical history," the campaign website states. "The government has taken many strides to ease their way into private citizens [sic] lives, and mandatory vaccinations are the newest way in which they can do so."

Kirk's TPUSA co-founder, Bill Montgomery, died last year of coronavirus complications.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.