Kennedy, a longtime opponent of vaccines, invoked Nazi Germany in his decree against vaccine mandates at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, suggesting that Frank was better off than Americans whose jobs require them to get vaccinated. He later apologized for the referral.
“My husband’s reference to Anne Frank at a mandate meeting in DC was reprehensible and insensitive,” Hines tweeted
on Tuesday. “The atrocities that millions endured during the Holocaust should never be compared to anything or anyone. His opinions are not a reflection of mine.”
Kennedy was one of several speakers at Sunday’s anti-vaccination mandate meeting that compared vaccine requirements for Covid-19 in the US to Nazi Germany, DailyExpertNews Politics reported.
“Even in Hitler’s Germany (sic) you could cross the Alps into Switzerland. You could hide in an attic, like Anne Frank did,” Kennedy said in his speech. “I visited East Germany in 1962 with my father and met people who had climbed the wall and escaped, so it was possible. Many died, that’s true, but it was possible.”
Frank was one of approximately 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis during World War II. Frank, believed to be 15 when she died, hid in an attic in the Netherlands before being caught and sent to a concentration camp.
Kennedy apologized in a tweet Tuesday for calling Frank’s name, tweeting that his “intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the dangers of new control technologies.”
“I apologize for referring to Anne Frank, especially to families who suffered from the Holocaust atrocities,” he said tweeted
. “To the extent that my comments have hurt, I am sincerely sorry.”
Hines responded to her husband’s comments Monday in a less specific statement, saying: responded to a tweet with
“My husband’s opinion is not a reflection of mine. Although we love each other, we disagree on many current issues.” She indicated that she disagreed with Kennedy’s comments about Frank when pressed by Twitter users including NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins
But Kennedy has compared vaccine requirements to the Holocaust before. In 2015, during a screening of a film that focused on inaccurate claims that vaccines can cause autism, he called the number of children “injured” by vaccines (another baseless claim) “a holocaust,” CBS News reported at the time. He later apologized for making the comparison, but redoubled his imprecise claims that vaccines cause autism.
Kennedy, who married Hines in 2014, said late last year that Hines asked guests at a holiday party they hosted to get vaccinated or test negative before arriving. He told Politico that although Hines imposed the vaccine recommendations, neither took steps to verify vaccination or testing status.