The issue of so-called vaccine passports has sparked widespread debate across the U.S. as more Americans are receiving inoculations against COVID-19.
For his part, Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker addressed the issue on Wednesday by downplaying the need for a state-mandated system for residents to prove their vaccination status.
“I think having a conversation about creating a barrier before people have even had an opportunity to be eligible to be vaccinated — let’s focus on getting people vaccinated,” he said this week, according to the Boston Herald.
“Focus on getting people vaccinated”
Baker’s remarks came on the heels of a growing list of GOP leaders who have pushed back against vaccine passports in recent days. According to Breitbart, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order against the use of such credentials in his state.
That move was followed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting state-directed vaccine passports, citing privacy concerns. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also weighed in with a tweet opposing the concept.
“I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport,” Kemp wrote on Tuesday, according to Breitbart. “While the development of multiple safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual.”
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds addressed the issue on Tuesday as well, signaling that she intends to take action opposing such a system.
“I strongly oppose vaccine passports and I believe that we must take a stand as a state against them, which I intend to do either through legislation or executive action,” she said.
“I don’t think it’s necessary”
Although the Iowa Republican has been vaccinated, Reynolds asserted that receiving a shot should be a personal choice.
In a statement to CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said he does not support vaccine passports.
“I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America,” he said, according to the Mississippi Clarion Ledger.
Although private entities and businesses are developing the framework for vaccine passport credentials, the Biden administration has insisted that such a mandate will not come from the federal government. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said this week that there “will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” The Hill reported.