A number of Republican state governors are saying no to vaccine passports as the idea gains traction among their counterparts on the other side of the political aisle.
According to The Hill, President Joe Biden’s press secretary Jen Psaki said this week that the government would not be rolling out a federal vaccine database, but the White House left the door open to private industries utilizing the so-called vaccine passports and has promised to issue “guidance” on the subject of patient privacy with regard to COVID-19 inoculations.
Individual freedom and patient privacy
It all has governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis (R) crying foul. According to Breitbart, DeSantis has been, “perhaps, the most vocal in his opposition” to the idea of vaccine passports, which could end in Americans being required to show proof they were vaccinated against the coronavirus before traveling or attending business and recreational events.
In an executive order issued last week, DeSantis said such vaccination certificates would “reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy,” as Breitbart reported separately.
“[N]o Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise publish or share individuals’ COVID-19 vaccination record or similar health information,” the order reads.
It also reportedly bars businesses from requiring vaccine passports of their patrons.
DeSantis said in a tweet last Friday that the state legislature was working toward “making permanent these protections for Floridians,” writing: “I look forward to signing them into law soon.”
“We are never going to do that”
Of course, DeSantis isn’t the only GOP governor to speak out against mandatory vaccine passports. Also issuing an executive order prohibiting government use of the documents was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R), who said upon signing his order Tuesday that “vaccines are always voluntary and never forced.”
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Abbott said, according to Breitbart.
Later Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) declared that also would not support vaccine passports. “I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport,” he wrote in a tweet.
I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport. 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.
— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) April 6, 2021
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) have also come out against the practice, as Breitbart notes. “We are never going to do that in the state of Missouri,” Parson promised during a Wednesday interview on Fox & Friends. “We are never going to have a mandate, a passport, a vaccine passport in this state.”