Kentucky lawmaker, Regina Huff, tweeted a meme that compared Dr. Anthony Fauci to the infamous cult leader, Jim Jones. Huff is the House Education chair for the state of Kentucky, and says that the tweet was taken out of context.
The tweet, which has since been deleted by Huff, featured a picture of Jones and Fauci. Under the Jones picture, it said: “I persuaded over 900 people to drink my Koolaid,” while Fauci’s caption read: “Amateur.”
Jim Jones was a cult leader in the 1970s who persuaded his followers to commit suicide by drinking cyanide mixed with Kool-Aid.
Reporter Olivia Krauth from The Courier Journal was able to take a screenshot of the tweet before it was deleted, and the newspaper was the first to report on the story. Krauth argues that the lawmaker is saying that the U.S vaccination efforts are like the massacre at Jonestown. Huff denies this interpretation.
Regina Huff said that she deleted the tweet because many comments were using disgusting language that she didn’t want to be associated with her name. She said that her original message of the tweet was to show citizens that we should not live in fear about masks and had nothing to do with the vaccines.
Many of the comments on Huff’s tweet said that she should be removed from the Kentucky Education Committee. James Thomas, an education professor at the University of Kentucky, tweeted the following statement, saying that he fears that Huff’s words would set a bad reputation for the state.
“If the Education chair wanted to appeal to her base, fine, but Twitter is global – businesses, families, & anyone else considering Kentucky sees this stuff,” Thomas said. “We need to stop electing those that damage the ‘optics’ of Kentucky. I do not care about party, I do care about KY.”
The state senate of Kentucky has not made a statement about whether or not Regina Huff will be removed from her position.
In another deleted tweet, Regina Huff wrote that, “I did indeed delete the tweet because of the vulgarity within the comments. The context of the tweet is representative of the efforts gearing up to mandating and controlling citizens, once again. Our students need to be in school, with parents deciding if they wear a mask.” She said that she was using the meme to show two leaders who are able to lead large groups of people and make them conform.
Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement recommending that all students, regardless of age, should be wearing masks in school come the fall. Schools in Kentucky are debating whether they will follow this guideline.
Kentucky has seen a rise in Covid-19 cases with the new Delta variant. Nine of the state’s counties have fallen into the red zone and only half of the state’s citizens are vaccinated. Many students are not eligible to receive the vaccine and the state is not making it mandatory for those who can.