Georgia Republican US Senate candidate Herschel Walker canceled a fundraiser in Texas because an organizer displayed a syringe swastika on her social media profile to protest mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.
Walker’s campaign said Wednesday it canceled the event, which was scheduled for Saturday in suburban Dallas at the home of Bettina Sofia Viviano-Langlais.
“Herschel is a great friend to Israel and the Jewish community and is opposed to hatred and intolerance in all its forms,” said campaign spokesman Mallory Blount. “Although the apparent intent behind the graphic was to condemn government mandates on vaccines, the symbol used is highly offensive and does not reflect the values of Herschel Walker or his campaign.”
The campaign had previously denied that the symbol was a swastika.
“Herschel Walker defended a swastika, and canceling a fundraiser does not change the fact that he did not condemn an anti-Semitic and hateful symbol.” Georgia Democratic Party spokesman Dan Gottlieb said in a statement.
Former President Donald Trump urged the great footballer and his old friend to participate in the race for the Republican nomination against Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock in 2022. Walker is competing against three other Republicans, including Georgia State Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black .
The fundraiser required a donation of $ 500 to enter and $ 5,800 for a private VIP reception. Walker’s campaign said Monday it had raised $ 3.7 million in the quarter ending Sept. 30.
Viviano-Langlais has been a film producer and is openly opposed to mandatory masks and vaccinations. The published accounts indicate that Viviano-Langlais organized the burning of a “now open Texas” mask at his home in Parker, Texas, along with Republican-leaning Jewish Dallas conservatives, in March after the Texas governor. Greg Abbott lifted the state mask mandate
The syringe swastika has appeared in protests against vaccine mandates in other parts of the United States and the world. Jewish groups have condensed the symbol.
Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the Anti-Defamation League’s southern division, said the comparison of vaccines with Nazism has become “a common and insensitive tool for political gain.”
“Those who link the atrocities committed by the Nazis to today’s public health policies must retract their shameless comparisons, take responsibility and stop exploiting Jewish suffering as a political tactic,” Padilla-Goodman said in a statement. “We are pleased to see the fundraiser canceled and the host’s behavior reported as offensive.”
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