South Dakota has joined the list of GOP-led states banning the use of so-called vaccine passports.
“We are not going to restrict freedom”
Although Noem made it clear that she wants “all South Dakotans to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” she said her state is “not going to mandate any such activity” by requiring proof, as the Washington Examiner reported.
“And we are not going to restrict freedom with un-American policies like vaccine passports,” Noem added.
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis became the first to issue a statewide executive order banning the use of vaccine passports. His move was followed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, also Republicans.
“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said last month, according to NPR.
Focusing on privacy, GOP Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte also issued an executive order barring the state and its businesses from requiring people to share whether they have been vaccinated.
“Create different classes of citizens”
Idaho Gov. Brad Little, another Republican, announced his executive order in a statement, writing: “Vaccine passports create different classes of citizens.”
Other Republican governors are reportedly pursuing similar efforts. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee confirmed that he plans to sign such a measure passed last week in the state Senate.
Of course, the Biden administration has insisted that there are no plans to implement a federal vaccine passport system, opting instead to allow private companies to develop such protocols if they wish to do so.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki addressed the issue last month, declaring: “A determination or development of vaccine passports, or whatever you want to call it, will be driven by the private sector.”
Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci also has also confirmed that the federal government will not mandate proof of vaccination for business transactions or travel. It is clear that GOP leaders across the nation are not taking any chances as an increasing number of states take matters into their own hands by working to protect both health privacy and individual freedoms.