Alaska state Representative Sara Hannan has apologised for defending COVID-19 vaccination by saying that the Nazi experimentation on prisoners "produced results."
Hannan is a Democrat from Juneau, Alaska. She made the comment on Saturday when Alaska House Republicans were attempting a vote on whether the Nuremberg Code — ethics principles for human experimentation written after the Nazi atrocities of World War II were discovered — was still valid, the Juneau Empire reported.
"I apologize for the words that I used on the House Floor yesterday. I did not mean to imply any support for NAZIs nor their experimentation in any way. My remarks were incorrect, insensitive, and hurtful. I am sorry and will strive to do better," Hannan was quoted by AP as saying.
State Representative David Eastman, a Wasilla Republican, was trying to force a non-binding vote, asking the Alaska House of Representatives whether the Nuremberg code "remains just as valid today as when it was written in 1947," the Anchorage Daily News reported.
That is when Hannan quipped in with the comments.
Some opponents of COVID-19 vaccinations contend they are in violation of the code, created in the wake of Nazi atrocities and intended to prevent medical experimentation again.
Eastman did not explicitly refer to COVID-19 vaccinations in the context of the code on Saturday. The Federal Drug Administration last month gave final approval to the Pfizer vaccine, while vaccines from Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have received emergency use authorizations.
Representative Christopher Kurka, another Republican, on Saturday called mass COVID-19 vaccinations "a giant human experiment."
During the debate, Hannan said the Nazi experiments were "violations of human dignity, of scientific methodology, yet they produced results."
Hannan on Tuesday told The Associated Press that she has been prepared to make an apology on the House floor since making her comments, but the body adjourned Sunday and canceled its session on Monday.
She intended to issue the apology on Tuesday, the last day of the Legislature's special session.
"The words I will say are the words that I have posted," she said. "I don't usually work from a script, but in this case, I am because that's what got me in trouble."
However, the House cancelled its floor session, and then the Legislature adjourned the special session, preventing her from giving the public apology.
(With AP inputs)