Conservative political commentator Candace Ownes slammed the recent push in the US to vaccinate children aged five to 11 against COVID-19 as being "sinister" and compared it to child predators and Nazi and Soviet youth programs.
Speaking to Fox News, Ownes directly responded to incentives recently pushed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who offered $100 for children getting their first vaccine dose at public schools or municipal-run sites.
Owens slammed it as "not a good incentive" and told the news outlet that "there's something about this that feels like a child predator."
She further compared these to the youth programs orchestrated by Nazi Germany and Stalinist USSR, being, in her view, similar cases of "schools and the government issuing these brain-washing doctrines."
Owens described this current situation to Fox News as a "dystopian nightmare," and urged parents to "take control of their children" and to "realize the government is trying to step in as the parent."
The comments follow the recent push by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisers to vaccinate children with the Pfizer vaccine. The pharmaceutical company has leaned into this, even releasing a new commercial featuring children who were part of their clinical trials dressed up as superheroes, though instead of fighting crime, they fight COVID-19.
This is not the first time Owens has shared views critical of vaccine mandates.
In late October, she revealed on Twitter that she has yet to be vaccinated and boasted of how she "survived the greatest psychological fear campaign in history."
Update: I am still unvaccinated. I survived the greatest psychological fear campaign in human history. I choose to operate at a frequency above fear. I see our media and governments for what they are now: powerless without our incessant fear. The emperors have no clothes.— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 25, 2021
Before that, she came out in support of NBA player Kyrie Irving and boxing champion Floyd Mayweather for fighting vaccine mandates.
“A slave mind follows the crowd”..Now all of the media dogs are after @FloydMayweather because he has, like me and @KyrieIrving, taken a firm stand against vaccine mandates. Dear Government: we are not your slaves anymore. https://t.co/Al0KoPeU5g— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 26, 2021
Her opposition is so prominent that a medical facility in Colorado refused to grant her a COVID-19 test due to her views.
“I’ve just learned of this testing request and as the owner of this business am going to refuse this booking and deny service,” Aspen COVID Testing co-founder Suzanna Lee wrote in an email to Owens, as revealed in early September by MarketWatch.
“We cannot support anyone who has proactively worked to make this pandemic worse by spreading misinformation, politicizing and DISCOURAGING the wearing of masks and actively dissuading people from receiving life-saving vaccinations.”
In 2019, Owens also sparked controversy when video footage emerged of her saying she would have been fine with Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, had he stayed in Germany.
"He was a national socialist," she said at a conference in the UK in December 2018. "But if Hitler just wanted to make Germany great and have things run well, okay fine. The problem is that he had dreams outside of Germany... I don't really have a problem with nationalism."
Here is video of Candace Owens' full answer on nationalism and Hitler pic.twitter.com/NfBvoH8vQg— John Whitehouse+ (@existentialfish) February 8, 2019
But Owens is not the only right-wing figure to come out against vaccine mandates with comparisons to Nazi Germany. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has repeatedly made such comparisons.
“They’re ruining our country, these vaccine Nazis,” she recently said in an interview on Steve Banon's podcast.
Greene has come under fire several times for comments drawing comparisons between coronavirus public health measures and the Holocaust. In May, she compared a mask mandate for unvaccinated members of Congress to forcing Jews to wear yellow stars in Nazi Germany.
“This woman is mentally ill,” Greene said at the time, referring to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “You know, we can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star. And they were definitely treated like second-class citizens, so much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers in Nazi Germany. And this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about.”
Tamar Beeri and Shira Hanau/JTA contributed to this report.