Jessica Renzi, a surgical technologist with the Wellstar Healthcare System, was removed from her job after she compared vaccine mandate to the Holocaust. Renzi's TikTok video had gone viral on social media sparking widespread criticism.
Wellstar has asked its employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 1. However, it was not made clear whether Renzi was fired or she resigned from her position at the Cobb County.
What Did Renzi say About the Vaccine Mandate?
The 30-second video posted on TikTok begins with Renzi seen wearing her blue scrubs and a scrub cap saying that she has "decided to do her part and get injected."
Suggesting that instead of going for a vaccine passport, she will instead get the number tattooed on her, referring to the vaccine lot number. She then goes on to show a "hand drawn" tattoo, a number 7734209, written on her wrist, which when read backwards reveals, "Go to hell."
WSBTV2 reported that the "fake tattoo is reminiscent of tattoos given to prisoners at concentration camps during the Holocaust. The "numbers" actually spell out a vulgar phrase." The surgical technologist tagged the video #patriot and #prochoice and talked about "vaccine passports."
Video Irks Social Media Users
Soon after the video surfaced on social media, it left a lot of users enraged.
The outlet stated that outraged over the reference, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement stating that the use of Nazi and Holocaust analogies is deeply offensive, even traumatizing, especially to the families of those who perished and lost loved ones in World War II.
"For Jewish families, Holocaust analogies trigger fear around one of the darkest, most antisemitic times in recent history, and these present day analogies come at a time of heightened antisemitism in the US felt very clearly by American Jews. Especially as the world deals with fear around the fragility of the pandemic, invoking Holocaust analogies only functions to further distrust and anxiety, not bring us together forward," it read.
After identifying Renzi as an employee of Wellstar Healthcare System, the users demanded that she should be fired from the job. "@WellstarHealth is vile surgical tech jessica renzi still benefiting from a paycheck at your company?!" wrote a user.
"She is Jessica Renzi, works at Wellstar Health Systems in Marietta, GA. This is what happens when immaturity, apathy, and racism collide with thirsty. Her employers need to know what kind of a person works for them. She's subhuman," tweeted another user.
Following the outrage, Wellstar Healthcare System officials issued a statement saying that Renzi no longer works for them.
"Jessica Renzi is no longer an employee of Wellstar Health System. At Wellstar, we stand strongly against anti-Semitism as well as comments or behavior of any kind that do not serve our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We are dedicated to fostering an environment where all team members treat others with compassion and respect. Wellstar remains steadfast in our mission to enhance the health and wellbeing of every person we serve," read the statement.