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A Kentucky lawmaker tweeted a meme comparing Dr. Anthony Fauci to Jonestown massacre leader Jim Jones — and later defended the move by saying, “We can’t be led by fear.”
State Rep. Regina Huff, a Republican from Williamsburg who chairs Kentucky’s House Education Committee, tweeted a meme early Tuesday showing the nation’s top infectious disease next to Jones — whose 909 followers downed poisoned Kool-Aid in a mass murder-suicide at his compound in Guyana in 1978.
“I persuaded over 900 people to drink my Koolaid,” read a caption beneath a photo of Jones.
“Amateur,” text beneath Fauci’s photo read.
“Some will cavil, they will not be able to help themselves,” Huff wrote alongside the meme, which she later deleted.
But a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal spotted the image before Huff took it down, noting that the meme appeared to “compare vaccination efforts against COVID-19” to the Jonestown massacre.
In a second tweet that was also deleted, Huff said she took the image down due to the amount of “vulgarity” in the comments.
“The context of the tweet is representative of the efforts gearing up to mandating and controlling citizens, once again,” Huff tweeted. “Our students need to be in school, with parents deciding if they wear a mask.”
In a follow-up post, Huff insisted the newspaper’s report that the meme referenced vaccinations was inaccurate.
“It is the mandates and efforts to control that are the issue. I don’t have any problem whatsoever with vaccinations,” Huff tweeted later Tuesday. “It is each individuals [sic] right to choose to vaccinate or not.”
Reached for comment Wednesday, Huff told The Post she didn’t regret posting the meme, but was unhappy with how it was interpreted.
“It just symbolic of the fact that we can’t be led by fear on whether we need to wear masks,” said Huff, who was elected in 2011. “These kids deserve to get back in the classroom for their social and emotional well-being. It wasn’t about vaccines — it was about being told to mask up and being led by fear.”
Huff said she took down the meme after commenters took it “totally” out of context.
“It had nothing to do with vaccinations,” Huff insisted. “I regret the misunderstanding. I regret that it wasn’t interpreted as I intended.”
Huff admitted that the meme was “probably too harsh of an analogy,” but claimed she was trying to highlight two people who were “able to lead and mandate people” to conform.
“My intent was to say when we’re led by fear, that there can be detrimental outcomes,” Huff told The Post. “I wanted people to think about that. We cannot be controlled by fear to the detriment of others.”
Huff’s remarks came as Kentucky school districts are weighing whether to require masks in classrooms and if they’ll apply to those who have been vaccinated, the Courier-Journal reported.
Just over 50 percent of Kentuckians have been vaccinated, the newspaper reported.
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