Gov. Spencer J. Cox and Seth Brysk at The Deseret News:
Protecting public health should never be equated to the horrors committed by the Nazi regime during the Holocaust. Encouraging vaccinations does not compare to schemes hastening the mass murder of millions of innocent people. Tying the Holocaust to anti-vaccine and anti-mask protests is as shocking as it is inaccurate and offensive. Policies designed to save lives do not equate with policies devised to mete out death. Such offensive analogies by opportunists and fringe groups are an act of moral outrage. By brandishing distrust or outright disdain of research and science, they ridicule history.
To be sure, we respect and defend the right to protest. Freedom of expression and the right to assemble are core American values which we cherish. Even so, we condemn the use of antisemitic and other hate-filled slurs or symbols, which are causing deep pain and offense, intentional or not.
We believe Utah must be better than this. We believe we can disagree without hating each other. We can make Utah an example to the nation.We have witnessed how anti-mask and anti-vaccination demonstrations have become hotbeds of Holocaust trivialization and antisemitic conspiracy theories across the United States and abroad. It is a testament to the need for continued and intensified Holocaust education across all ages. And it demands a strong and unequivocal call to action. We must return to civility, whenever we disagree, through reasoned and thoughtful engagement in our collective desire to end the COVID-19 global pandemic. Utahns can lead the way.