Wellstar tech ‘no longer an employee’ after posting video comparing vaccine mandate to Holocaust

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Hospital officials in Cobb County say a surgical tech is “no longer an employee” after she posted a video comparing the hospital’s vaccine mandate to the Holocaust.

Jessica Renzi was a surgical technologist with the Wellstar Healthcare System, according to her social media accounts, which she has since deleted.

Renzi posted a video to TikTok in which she showed off a hand-drawn “tattoo” with her vaccine lot number. The fake tattoo is reminiscent of tattoos given to prisoners at concentration camps during the Holocaust. The “numbers” actually spell out a vulgar phrase.

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Renzi tagged the video #patriot and #prochoice and talked about “vaccine passports.”

The video has gone viral and been viewed thousands of times.

Channel 2 Action News is working to get a statement from Renzi.

Officials with the hospital system issued a statement saying she no longer works for them:

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“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.”

Wellstar is making it mandatory for employees to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1. Earlier this week, about 150 people gathered at the hospital system’s corporate offices to protest the mandate.

The workers told Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes that they aren’t sure if their protest will change Wellstar’s decision but they want their voices heard.

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“Call it unconstitutional, call it whatever you want,” said protester Darrell Hester. “You’ve got medicine out here that’s taking years, decades to be approved and then you see you on TV now they say, ‘Hey, if you or your loved one has taken such a such a product, call this lawyer.’ Well, this has only taken months and it pushed through, yeah, that’s a little scary.”

The Anti-Defamation League has since released a statement on the incident, stating why using the Holocaust as part of an analogy is hurtful to many people.

“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.”

Last month, Channel 2′s Justin Gray learned that there are thousands of medical workers who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

Wellstar officials have not clarified whether Renzi was fired or resigned.

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