In response to ongoing public feedback from a specific group of individuals, Supervisor Katrina Foley issued the following statement regarding the proposed voluntary County vaccination record:
“The provision of a voluntary digital vaccination record was an option of the contract between the County and CuraPatient. The voluntary digital record provision, would have provided a convenient option for individuals, should they need to show proof of vaccination for access to businesses and entertainment venues.
As I have previously stated, this was intended as a courtesy and not a mandate. There is no vote to mandate vaccine passports. Anyone suggesting otherwise is directly harming the County’s public health and vaccination outreach efforts. This misinformation campaign is led by the same people who deny Covid-19 and have opposed vaccines and masks altogether.
With respect to the reoccurring analogies to the Holocaust during public comment, any legitimate cause has its own compelling arguments, and no one should ever appropriate the Holocaust to explain, compare or contrast contemporary issues, whether we are Jews, Christians or Muslims; Republicans or Democrats.
To try and invoke the murder of 6 million Jews (including 1.5 million children), who have no voice of their own, to make arguments sound more legitimate:
- Undermines rational discussion about serious issues, while equally focuses on self-promotion at the expense of the victims of genocide,
- Serves as gross disrespect to all those who died. It also contributes to the trivialization and diminution of the understanding of these horrific events, which are so vital in making sure they should never happen again.”
The Supervisor’s comments were echoed by Rabbi Steinberg of Irvine’s Shir Ha-Ma’alot Congregation, and Rabbi Peter Levi of the Anti-Defamation League of Orange County/Long Beach.
“Using symbols and imagery from the Holocaust evoke painful memories for the Jewish community.” said Rabbi Steinberg of Shir Ha-Ma’alot. “Misappropriating such symbols to fit a false narrative is deeply hurtful. The Star of David (in Hebrew, Magen David) can also be translated as the ‘Shield of David.’ When such a symbol is abused by people, the shield falls, and the pain remains.”
“The use of Holocaust comparisons by those concerned with the health protocols surrounding vaccinations developed to save lives and preserve health only trivializes a horrific time in human history,” stated Rabbi Peter Levi, Regional Director of the ADL (OC/LB). “Such political use of the Holocaust stops civil and rational discussion dead in its tracks. These attention seekers don’t think for a second about the murder of 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children, which should never be the subject of glib analogies and political exploitation.”
“If folks speaking from the floor at the Board of Supervisors meeting misuse and abuse Holocaust memory, I expect our elected leaders to use their voices and their first amendment rights to call it out as grossly inappropriate, and a deliberate misinterpretation of history that has no part in the current policy discussions. Invoking the death of millions of people 76 years ago who no longer have a voice of their own does not make their cause more legitimate.”