During an anti-vaccine mandate protest in Washington, D.C., this past weekend, the eldest son of former attorney general Robert F. Kennedy said, “Even in Hitler’s Germany, you could cross the Alps into Switzerland, you could hide in an attic like Anne Frank did.”
Kennedy’s callous comparison was criticized by many, including the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and his own wife, former “Curb Your Enthusiasm” cast member Cheryl Hines.
As a result, he walked back the Holocaust hot take with a Twitter apology.
I apologize for my reference to Anne Frank, especially to families that suffered the Holocaust horrors. My intention was to use examples of past barbarism to show the perils from new technologies of control. To the extent my remarks caused hurt, I am truly and deeply sorry.
— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) January 25, 2022
Many people weren’t impressed — especially because he’s made similar Holocaust comparisons in the past.
Here's Kennedy's quite similar apology for comparing vaccinations to the Holocaust in 2015. Doesn't seem like he's learning much. Unclear if he's figured out yet that they murdered Anne Frank. https://t.co/4a4RRJXQdUhttps://t.co/PAWUMlPRZppic.twitter.com/8opcYmZjRk
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) January 25, 2022
"I want to apologize to all whom I offended by my use of the word holocaust to describe the autism epidemic" - RFK Jr, April 2016 https://t.co/b8ra3WFEcZ
— alex kasprak (@alexkasprak) January 25, 2022
Mr. Kennedy does this kind of thing in nearly every speech he gives. Likens the administration of vaccines to past medical atrocities, violence during the civil rights movement, and, yes, the Holocaust. https://t.co/RiJA2QibNR
— Brandy Zadrozny (@BrandyZadrozny) January 25, 2022
Others noted that the tweet had all the hallmarks of a non-apology apology.
To the extent his remarks caused hurt, ya know, when he compared a young girl who hid in fear she'd be murdered for her religion--& was--to a life-saving vaccine...ya know, he's sorry or something https://t.co/djPvXufBqx
— Cliff Schecter (@cliffschecter) January 25, 2022
This isn't an apology for the awful comparison he made.
This is an apology that everyone got their feelings hurt by what he said, which honestly, is worse than saying nothing.
This guy is one of the biggest threats to public health out there. What shameful person. https://t.co/myPeJWafgt
— Tim Fullerton (@TimFullerton) January 25, 2022
"To the extent my remarks caused hurt" feels a little like "I'm sorry that you were offended." Thst is, not an actual apology. https://t.co/47IcjRNI7W
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) January 25, 2022
Holocaust = The gov't is trying to kill people (& did)
Pandemic = The gov't is trying to keep people alive
See the difference? https://t.co/ZkOQCUNCEZ
— Vicki Larson (@OMGchronicles) January 25, 2022
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.