“I appreciate my Jewish friends who have explained their perspectives and feel horrible that I have offended anyone,” he added. “My sincere apologies.”
Earlier this week, Washington mayor Muriel Bowser said on Twitter that adult residents and visitors will have to have proof of vaccinations, a photo ID and a mask in public.
Davidson responded with a tweet of an image of a Nazi document and wrote, “This has been done before. #DoNotComply.”
“Let’s recall that the Nazis dehumanized Jewish people before segregating them, segregated them before imprisoning them, imprisoned them before enslaving them, and enslaved them before massacring them,” he added.
Davidson’s comments were widely condemned. The Anti-Defamation League said, “It’s never appropriate to compare requirements for public health with the tactics of Nazi Germany. As we’ve said too many times to count, minimizing the Holocaust in this way is deeply offensive and harmful.”
Democratic Rep. Dean Phillips of Minnesota, who is Jewish, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Wednesday that he confronted Davidson about the tweet. “I said I’d debate mandates and tyranny whenever he wishes, but there’s no debate on the offense of his post,” said Phillips. “He could have cared less.”
Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois also responded to Tapper, saying, “This is the new politics. It’s not about leading anymore. It’s about how can we out-outrage the other person.”
“It’s insane,” Kinzinger added. “Every Republican leader needs to be condemning that kind of B.S. right now.”
After Davidson’s apology on Thursday, Republican Jewish Coalition executive director Matt Brooks tweeted, “Congressman, thank you for this sincere apology and clarification.”
CNN’s Brian Rokus and Annie Grayer contributed to this report.