Herschel Walker’s campaign for one of Georgia’s U.S. Senate seats has released a statement in response to a profile picture used by a fundraiser host, saying that the swastika-like design was only intended to express sentiments against vaccination, and not to endorse antisemitism or bigotry.
Bettina Viviano, an entertainment industry business owner, is one of the hosts for an event coming up this weekend, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It’s a $500-per-attendee fundraiser for Herschel Walker, with the option to chip in another $5,800 for a photo op with the Senate candidate.
However, journalist Patricia Murphy raised a separate concern about Viviano — her profile photo, which appeared to be a swastika made out of hypodermic needles.
Also in the Jolt this am, one of the hosts for a weekend fundraiser for @HerschelWalker this weekend appears to have a swastika as her profile pic. We have reached out for a response from the Walker camp. pic.twitter.com/MynCVfvn93
— Patricia Murphy (@politicalinsidr) October 13, 2021
Walker’s campaign responded, calling the logo “clearly an anti-mandatory vaccination graphic” and disavoing any connection to antisemitism or bigotry of any kind.
Viviano has since changed the profile pic — though an archived copy shows the swastika image, the current profile photo is of a “God Blessed Texas” flag sign.
However, she hasn’t deleted several tweets in which her account responds to news stories or other posts using this image — such as the tweet below, responding to a Newsweek article with the needle swastika, alongside a “F*** Joe Biden” flag image and other antivax propaganda.
— Hollywood Resistance (@BettinaVTX) September 10, 2021
Walker has the endorsement of former president Donald Trump, though the Associated Press reports that events raised in his past, including allegations that he repeatedly threatened the life of his ex-wife, could be detrimental to his efforts.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com