Although the Biden Administration originally initially dismissed the idea, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas recently shared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” that the White House is “taking a very close look” at the possibility of requiring vaccine passports for international travel.
He said there is an underlying point that everyone should be vaccinated by some point and that this would also help ‘jumpstart’ international travel. The announcement was made as Republican-led states continue to pass legislation that bans state government and private businesses from requiring them at all.
“We’re taking a very close look at that, you know, one of our principles that has guided us throughout this pandemic is the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised,” Mayorkas said.
The European Union is currently testing its own digital vaccination certificates for cross-border travel, which is set to go live by the end of June. China and Japan are also working on vaccine passport options and the U.S has updated its National Health Service app to let fully vaccinated users prove their status when traveling.
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But vaccine passports have been a polarizing topic, with online discussions of using personal medical information to control people, restrict freedom, create two classes of society, and erode privacy. Kevin Trilli, chief product officer at ID verification company Onfido, said that if vaccine passports aren’t done correctly, they’ll add additional levels of privacy risk.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that if you need to be policing people at this point, then you’re saying you don’t believe in the vaccines and you don’t believe in the science. He said that the state of Florida will not mandate COVID-19 vaccines in private or public schools, as well as businesses. He said that airports and airlines in Florida will not be requiring vaccine certificates either. Violators can be fined up to $5,000.
“You have a right to participate in society without them asking you to divulge this type of health information like just to go to a movie, just to go to a ball game. Our Legislature has passed what I asked for, and I’ll be signing that very soon,” DeSantis said.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey also recently passed legislation to ban state agencies from requiring proof of vaccination. Sen. Ted Cruz has also introduced a bill to ban vaccine passports or mandate vaccines in the employment process.
While President Biden’s administration said that there will be no federal vaccination database and no federal mandate requiring vaccination credentials, they would be looking at ways to ensure Americans have a “quick and easy way” to travel abroad and enter other countries. They said they wanted to ensure that U.S travelers easily meet any anticipated foreign country entry requirements.
President Biden has maintained the view that they will leave it up to private businesses to decide for themselves whether they will require proof of vaccination.
At this point, let everyone that wants to get the vaccination to get vaccinated. Let everyone else get back on with normal life as it was before the pandemic. The lockdown Dems are holding onto as much power as they can – and the vaccine passports are the last of it. Remember, this is the same political party that opposes voter identification for presidential elections but wants proof of vaccination for an experimental drug.
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