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Williamsville officials attempt to clarify COVID law comparisons to Nazis, communist China

Jewish Family Services of Western New York says it rejects the comments, and the comparisons made, between COVID-19 rules designed to protect and the Holocaust.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. — Williamsville Deputy Mayor Dave Sherman made comments on Monday night that generated discussion across Western New York.

"In May 1940, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands. Five days later, the Dutch army surrendered. Slowly but surely, the Nazis introduced more and more laws and regulations that made the lives of Jews more difficult," Sherman said Monday.

He made those comments as the Williamsville board voted to formally condemn emergency state health department rules about isolation and quarantine procedures for people suspected of having an infectious disease.

Those statements and others are now sparking backlash.

Jewish Family Services of Western New York says it rejects the comments, and the comparisons made, between COVID-19 rules and the Holocaust.

Sherman on Thursday said he wanted to clarify his comments, and others made. He says the state's law has "eerie parallels ... with the rise of Nazi rule in Germany."

Then there was Williamsville Mayor Deb Rogers, who said, "I'm embarrassed to be sitting up here with two trustees who, I will say, are nothing short of communist for their ability to vote no on this opposition, because this is exactly what we saw happening in communist China where people were being taken from their homes and placed into quarantine camps."

The mayor says her comments from the meeting were misrepresented.

You can hear more comments from Williamsville officials in the video below, from the meeting that took place on May 9. Discussion of the New York State law begins at the 3-hour, 2-minute mark of the video.