Alaska Democratic lawmaker apologizes after Nazi comment

Sep 14, 2021, 5:37 PM | Updated: 6:03 pm

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A member of the Alaska Legislature has apologized for saying Nazi experimentation on prisoners “produced results.”

State Rep. Sara Hannan, a Democrat from Juneau, made the comment Saturday when House minority Republicans were attempting a vote on whether the Nuremberg Code — ethics principles for human experimentation written after the Nazi atrocities of World War II were discovered — was still valid, the Juneau Empire reported.

“I apologize for the words that I used on the House Floor yesterday,” Hannan said Sunday on social media. “I did not mean to imply any support for NAZIs nor their experimentation in any way. My remarks were incorrect, insensitive and hurtful. I am sorry and will strive to do better.”

Hannan’s comments came during an attempt from state Rep. David Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, to force a non-binding vote asking the Alaska House whether the Nuremberg code “remains just as valid today as when it was written in 1947,” the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Some opponents of COVID-19 vaccinations contend they are in violation of the code, created in the wake of Nazi atrocities and intended to prevent medical experimentation again.

Eastman did not explicitly refer to COVID-19 vaccinations in the context of the code on Saturday. The Federal Drug Administration last month gave final approval to the Pfizer vaccine, while vaccines from Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have received emergency use authorizations.

Rep. Christopher Kurka, another Wasilla Republican, on Saturday called mass COVID-19 vaccinations “a giant human experiment.”

During debate, Hannan said the Nazi experiments were “violations of human dignity, of scientific methodology, yet they produced results.”

Hannan on Tuesday told The Associated Press that she has been prepared to make an apology on the House floor since making her comments, but the body adjourned Sunday and canceled its session on Monday.

She intended to issue the apology on Tuesday, the last day of the Legislature’s special session.

“The words I will say are the words that I have posted,” she said. “I don’t usually work from a script, but in this case, I am because that’s what got me in trouble.”

However, the House canceled its floor session, and then the Legislature adjourned the special session, preventing her from giving the public apology.

The Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, which preserves the former Nazi concentration and extermination camp, said on social media in July that using the Holocaust to argue against a vaccination that saves human lives “is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”

State Rep. Andy Josephson, an Anchorage Democrat, told the Anchorage newspaper that comparing vaccination efforts and Nazi atrocities was “profoundly offensive.”

“It’s just a horrible analogy, and people should just not go there,” he said.

House Speaker Louise Stutes, a Kodiak Republican, on Saturday referred Eastman’s measure to three committees, a death-knell since the Legislature session had to end Tuesday.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state prosecutor has decided not to file criminal charges ...
Associated Press

No charges for police who shot anti-fascist Portland suspect

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Washington state prosecutor has decided not to file criminal charges against police who shot and killed an antifascist fugitive wanted in the highly publicized death last year of a right-wing demonstrator in Portland, Oregon, last year. A U.S. Marshals-led task force was trying to arrest Michael Reinoehl, 48, at an […]
11 hours ago
FILE - In this Oct. 10. 2012 file photo, a timber wolf named Comet is seen at the Timber Wolf Prese...
Associated Press

6 tribes sue Wisconsin to try to stop November wolf hunt

Six Native American tribes sued the state of Wisconsin on Tuesday to try to stop its planned gray wolf hunt in November, asserting that the hunt violates their treaty rights and endangers an animal they consider sacred. The Chippewa tribes say treaties give them rights to half of the wolf quota in territory they ceded […]
11 hours ago
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General As...
Associated Press

Billionaires rocketing into space draw UN chief’s red glare

Space, we have an equity problem. When three billionaires rocketed into space this summer, they did more than escape Earth’s surly bonds, they helped spread “a malady of mistrust” plaguing an all-too hungry world, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told other world leaders Tuesday. In his opening speech to the General Assembly, a grim Guterres […]
11 hours ago
This Thursday, Sept. 16, 2021, photo, shows a Suffolk County Police Department missing person poste...
Associated Press

Gabby Petito story boosted by social media, true-crime craze

MIAMI (AP) — The disappearance and almost-certain death of Gabby Petito and the police hunt for her boyfriend have generated a whirlwind online, with a multitude of armchair detectives and others sharing tips, possible sightings and theories by way of TikTok, Instagram and YouTube. Whether the frenzy of attention and internet sleuthing has helped the […]
11 hours ago
FILE - In this image from video on Feb. 12, 2021, House impeachment manager Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-...
Associated Press

Latinos vastly underrepresented in media, new report finds

PHOENIX (AP) — Latinos are perpetually absent in major newsrooms, Hollywood films and other media industries where their portrayals — or lack thereof — could deeply impact how their fellow Americans view them, according to a government report released Tuesday. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to investigate last October. U.S. […]
11 hours ago
Warsaw residents place candles before the national Border Guards Headquarters in a sign of mourning...
Associated Press

UN agencies want access to asylum-seekers stuck at EU border

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Two United Nations agencies requested access Tuesday to asylum-seekers stranded at Belarus’s border with Poland and Lithuania, after four migrants were found dead in the area. The International Organization for Migration and the U.N. Refugee Agency called on the governments involved to be guided primarily by human rights and international law […]
11 hours ago
Alaska Democratic lawmaker apologizes after Nazi comment