WHAT GEORGIANS ARE SEEING: Public Health and Jewish Community Leaders Call Out Herschel Walker for Refusing to Condemn Anti-Vaccine Efforts

October 20, 2021

Yesterday, public health and Jewish community leaders gathered in Atlanta to highlight the danger that Herschel Walker’s defense of anti-vaccine efforts poses to Georgia’s public health and economic recovery. After facing a barrage of criticism for defending the swastika as “clearly an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic,” Walker failed to condemn the underlying anti-vaccination message. 

As WSB-TV’s Richard Elliot reported yesterday: “When we asked for more details about Herschel Walker’s stance on vaccines, we didn’t get one.

Here’s what Georgians are seeing and hearing:


  • Herschel Walker’s in some trouble today. Some members of Metro Atlanta’s Jewish community joined Georgia Democrats demanding the GOP Senate candidate do more to condemn the use of a swastika to promote a fundraising event.
  • Herschel Walker’s campaign issued a statement today condemning the use of that swastika, but said nothing about his stance on vaccines — and that, say some of those Democrats, is part of the problem.
  • We last saw GOP Senate hopeful Herschel Walker at this rally, former President Donald Trump down in Perry last month, he spoke about the Constitution, the crisis at the border, and holding elected officials accountable. He did not mention the pandemic or vaccines.
  • “Politicians like Herschel Walker make it harder for us to get ahead of the virus.” Luisa Wakeman is a registered nurse. She joined Georgia Democrats and some members of Metro Atlanta’s Jewish community at the Capitol’s Liberty Plaza Tuesday to demand Walker condemn the use of a kind of vaccine swastika.
  • Rabbi Joshua Lesser says that symbol is offensive to the Jewish community. “So we’re calling today on Herschel Walker: condemn the swastika and the anti-vaccine intent behind it.”
  • When we asked for more details about Walker’s stance on vaccines, we didn’t get one. 
  • Rebecca Mitchell is a Democratic state representative from Snellville. She’s also an epidemiologist, and she thinks Walker and other politicians need to be promoting vaccines — not keeping silent about them.
  • “There is no candidate for public office who should stand by a symbol of hate, and this one had an additional harmful message — one that defies what we know is in the best interest of Georgia’s health, safety, and economic recovery.”


  • Irresponsible and dangerous. That’s how some critics describe U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker’s recent actions. 
  • Those who spoke at this news conference say they want Herschel Walker to not only denounce the use of that swastika, but also the anti-vaccine sentiment behind it. 
  • At first, Walker’s campaign said it was a symbol of opposition to vaccine mandates, but they then quickly canceled the event. Some critics say that is not enough.
  • In a news conference put on by the Georgia Democratic Party, Metro Atlanta Rabbi Joshua Lesser said Republican Herschel Walker is not fit for public office.
  • “We are here today in protest. In protest of defending symbols of bigotry and hatred — and in protest of using those symbols of hate to compromise the health of Georgians. We will not stay silent while the health of Georgians is at stake, while hate symbols are legitimized and the trauma of Jews is used as a tool for political gain.”
  • Registered nurse Luisa Wakeman says Georgia’s vaccination rates already lagged behind other states. And this doesn’t help.
  • “Politicians weaponizing a pandemic for cheap political points will continue to hurt Georgians. Herschel Walker can’t let this continue.”
  • State representative and epidemiologist Dr. Rebecca Mitchell called it “anti-vaccine propaganda.” 
  • The campaign canceled the event within hours of learning about the offensive symbol … but Rabbi Lesser says Walker needs to do more. 
  • “I am here to say, Herschel Walker, we are still waiting for that apology. And I also say that the decision to cancel the fundraising event is not the same thing as taking responsibility — as offering an apology. What he has done is simply not enough.”


  • As he continues his run for the U.S. Senate, Herschel Walker, the candidate, is drumming up a little bit of controversy.
  • Public health and Jewish community leaders gathered today to discuss Walker’s recent cancellation of a fundraiser. It was to be held at the home of a Texas woman who [had] a swastika made of vaccines on her social media page.
  • The health and community leaders spoke out encouraging Walker to condemn anti-vaccination measures, and the use of such imagery. 
  • Our Jewish trauma is not your symbol, Herschel Walker. Our deaths are not for your exploitation. His behavior is reprehensible and certainly does not warrant any credibility and being able to serve effectively the citizens of Georgia.”

CBS 46

  • One thing the state, and the entire nation, has to fight against on the vaccine front is misinformation. And today, public health and Jewish community leaders spoke out against Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who canceled a fundraiser after a donor used an image of a swastika made out of syringes on her Twitter profile. 
  • “We must encourage honest conversations and talk to our neighbors about how this shot could save lives ahead of a potential dark winter COVID surge.”
  • And we must reject the political games of Herschel Walker, who thinks it’s okay to use these symbols of hatred and bigotry to undermine the health and safety of all Georgians.


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