GOP Rep.'s Intern Slams Him For Comparing Vaccine Mandates To Holocaust In Brutal Resignation Letter
An intern for Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky has resigned. His scathing resignation letter against the GOP politician went viral.
Massie has been a vocal opponent of vaccine mandates and verification, even as the Delta variant caused a surge in new cases of Covid-19 all over the world.
But many felt the Republican Congressman went too far in a recent, since-deleted tweet. Massie compared vaccine verification to the Holocaust.
The post featured a black and white image of the tattooed wrist of a concentration camp survivor, with the caption:
"If you have to carry a card on you to gain access to a restaurant, venue or an event in your own country ... that's no longer a free country."
The post proved to be the last straw for Andrew Zirkle, an intern working in Massie's office.
Zirkle did not leave quietly.
He posted his resignation letter on Twitter for all to read, accompanied by a screenshot of Massie's antisemitic post.
1/ I quit. I wanted to let everyone who knows me personally to know that as soon as I got in to work this morning,… https://t.co/UDLVWSQZp2— 🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀 (@🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀) 1630006720.0
In his resignation letter, Zirkle announced he was resigning "effective immediately." He stated no apology would be sufficient to sway his decision.
"The Tweet that Congressman Massie posted last night, in which he compared vaccine passports to the Holocaust, was insensitive not only to survivors of the Holocaust, but the millions who perished as a result."
"The anti semitic nature of this post is beyond apology, and as a result I cannot in good conscience continue at my current position."
While Zirkle did acknowledge how grateful he was for the opportunity to work in Massie's office—sending well-wishes to the remaining staff—he had more to say to the Kentucky Representative in two follow-up tweets.
2/ These sorts of statements and comparisons are highly inappropriate and are not something I want to associate wit… https://t.co/cO6T5HYpEM— 🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀 (@🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀) 1630006721.0
3/ Everyone has personal limits of what is intolerable and this is one of mine. I hope to take what experience I ga… https://t.co/2dUVgu7nKU— 🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀 (@🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀) 1630006721.0
"These sorts of statements and comparisons are highly inappropriate and are not something I want to associate with personally or professionally. "
"Everyone has personal limits of what is intolerable, and this is one of mine."
"I hope to take what experience I gained from DC and move on stronger to the next challenge."
Twitter wasted no time in commending Zirkle for making the decision to distance himself from Massie and for speaking out against the Congressman's anti-vaxx rhetoric.
@theandrewzirkle You're a good man, Andrew. Whatever it may be, never fear doing what you think is right.— 𝐑𝐲𝐚𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞 (@𝐑𝐲𝐚𝐧 𝐃𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐞𝐭𝐭𝐞) 1630009008.0
@theandrewzirkle @HeathMayo You did the right thing. Someone else will be very fortunate to have you on their team.— Trent Nolan (@Trent Nolan) 1630009023.0
@theandrewzirkle @HeathMayo You did good and I know people that know you will be proud. I will never understand tho… https://t.co/yZbzIw9clr— Kansas Republican No More (@Kansas Republican No More) 1630009048.0
@theandrewzirkle @HeathMayo This is what principled leadership looks like. Holding people accountable and not sitting by. #PrinciplesFirst— Jersey Mike (@Jersey Mike) 1630009072.0
@theandrewzirkle Dude. Thank you for your leadership. This took courage. Principled conservatives stand with you on this one.— Heath Mayo (@Heath Mayo) 1630009075.0
@theandrewzirkle Hopefully others will follow your lead. Too many in Congress are using this type of rhetoric for c… https://t.co/9QAc2wj88Y— John Cowan MD, HUS, DAD, BIC (@John Cowan MD, HUS, DAD, BIC) 1630009132.0
Though a few asked Zirkle how he didn't see something like this coming, pointing out Massie has a history of insensitive, often bigoted rhetoric.
@theandrewzirkle Why did you ever work for him? His views were well known.— Garland Sanderson (@Garland Sanderson) 1630011065.0
@theandrewzirkle @nycsouthpaw Hope you will consider carefully how it was that you worked so long for someone who t… https://t.co/HJ6P545NMp— AndMoo (@AndMoo) 1630011080.0
@theandrewzirkle I don’t know how you worked for him to start with but kudos for standing up against this— Guerry (@Guerry) 1630011201.0
@theandrewzirkle Thank you and we’re proud of you, but what we’re you thinking in the first place?— Bryan (@Bryan) 1630010963.0
After receiving over one thousand responses to his resignation letter, Zirkle returned to Twitter to admit his surprise his Tweet reached such a wide audience.
My tweet regarding my early exit picked up a little more steam than intended... it was mostly supposed to be for fo… https://t.co/UzzndKQLYF— 🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀 (@🦀Andrew Zirkle🦀) 1630011832.0
Massie isn't the only Republican to compare mandates regarding masks and vaccines to the Holocaust.
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene previously refused to apologize for comparing mask mandates to "gas chambers in Nazi Germany."
While John Bennett, chair of the Oklahoma Republican party, drew considerable criticism and condemnation from his fellow Republicans after posting an image of the Star of David labeled "unvaccinated."
Massie has yet to comment on Zirkle's viral resignation, but has since filled his Twitter page with a number of new tweets condemning vaccine mandates and verification.