Labor Leader Apologizes

A Kansas labor leader has apologized for remarks he made during a legislative hearing comparing COVID-19 vaccine mandates to the Holocaust that killed millions of Jews.

Cornell Beard is president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers union’s Wichita district.

Beard said his remarks were taken out of context but added, “I wholeheartedly apologize to the Jewish community.”

“Although it was not my intent, my comments came off as insensitive regarding one of the most sinister times in world history,” Beard said in an email to The Associated Press.

In a written statement to the legislative committee, Beard, who is Black, said people who won’t work with others who are not vaccinated are “preserving and perpetuating the ideology of a modern-day racist.”

“We’re basically saying you’re the modern-day Jew,” Beard told the committee in person. “You’re gonna wear that star…and we don’t give a damn if you complain about it or not.”