Oct 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Murkowski slams comparisons of mask mandates to Nazism in Alaska

Photo of Lisa Murkowski speaking to reporters with one hand over her heart
Photo: Kevin Dietsch via Getty Images

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) voiced alarm and frustration about the surge of COVID cases in her state on Friday, decrying comparisons of mask mandates to Nazism.

Why it matters: Alaska's number of weekly cases has steadily increased in recent months, jumping 10% from just last week, according to state health data. Meanwhile, anti-vaxxers continue to protest mask and vaccine mandates in increasingly hostile situations.

What she's saying: "We are leading the nation right now in our COVID rates," Murkowski said in her address on the Senate floor. "We’re separated enough geographically, but through the advantages of air travel and road travel, we mix, we mingle, we get around, and the virus knows no bounds."

  • "If Alaska were a country, it would be the nation with the world’s highest per-capita case rate," she added, citing data from Johns Hopkins University. The state's health care system is barely holding up under the onslaught, she noted.
  • "We have had some just horrible, horrible confrontations in our public meetings in Anchorage," she noted.
    • "The top of the fold in the Anchorage paper is about an assembly meeting where individuals wore yellow Stars of David to protest the mask ordinance that the Anchorage Assembly was taking up, comparing a mask mandate to the Holocaust. It’s shocking."
  • She urged people to respect health care workers putting their lives on the line.
  • "We can have disagreements. We can have differing points of view," the moderate Republican said. "We can express them without degrading one another, without denigrating one another, without humiliating and mocking one another."
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