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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A group of Maine Democrats wants a state Republican lawmaker to resign over comments in which she compared vaccine mandates for healthcare workers to the Nazi doctor known as the "Angel of Death" for experiments on Jews during the Holocaust.
A letter dated Aug. 27 called Rep. Heidi Sampson's remarks "wildly unacceptable and inappropriate."
The state lawmaker made her claims during a rally in front of the State House after the governor announced a vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. "Do I need to remind you of the late 1930s and into the '40s in Germany and the experiments with Josef Mengele? What was it? A shot? These were crimes against humanity."
Mengele conducted medical experiments, often fatal, on people imprisoned at the Auschwitz death camp.
"It is an utter disrespect to Holocaust survivors, to the Jewish community in general and to thinking people everywhere. It is a pathetic statement only designed to stir more hate and more falsehoods," Sen. Joseph Baldacci, D-Bangor, wrote in the letter.
The New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League also has called on Sampson to apologize for her remarks.
A message seeking comment was left with Sampson.
Her comments come against a backdrop of differing opinions on whether COVID-19 vaccines should be mandated.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention contends COVID-19 vaccines in the United States are safe and effective. One of them, made by Pfizer, received final approval from the Food and Drug Administration last week.
Associated Press © 2021