A new City Council member is apologizing after comparing New York’s vaccine mandates to Nazi Germany in an interview with NY1.
In a statement, Vickie Paladino said she made a “flippant remark”, adding: “While my intent was to illustrate that requiring residents to show medical papers to earn a living or do everyday activities is an authoritarian practice that does not align with this country’s principles, it is never okay to compare anything to the evil of Nazi Germany.”
The Queens Republican said she is apologizing to those “who were genuinely offended by my comment.”
In the NY1 interview that was conducted Friday and first aired Monday, Paladino spoke vehemently against the requirement that Council members and their staff show proof of vaccination to work at City Hall and council offices.
“I don’t need to show you my papers. This is not Nazi Germany,” she said at the time.
Repeatedly refusing to disclosing her vaccine status, the newly-elected councilwoman stressed that she’s against mandates, not vaccines.
“It’s just nobody’s business whether I am or not. See, it’s called medical freedom,” she told NY1.
Her Nazi Germany comparison drew condemnation from some fellow Council members, including some Republican colleagues who criticized the analogy while saying they support her fight against mandates.
The Anti-Defamation League welcomed Paladino’s apology, saying in a statement: “It’s extremely important to acknowledge the societal harm of comparing COVID mandates to the horrors of the Nazi regime.”