In December, a write-up of mine asked, “Are you ready for your vaccine passport?”
At the time, I pointed out, “You may soon need it to go…anywhere worth going.”
Fast-forward to the New York Post‘s March 26th article, “Nation’s First ‘Vaccine Passport’ Coming to New York.”
Per the piece, the QR-code-based Excelsior Pass Wallet app was set to begin April 2nd, with system subscribers including NYC’s Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times Union Center. Expansion was impending for smaller venues of the arts and entertainment sort.
Indeed, the period of the passport is upon us.
But not everyone’s on board. Case in point: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
From RedState’s streiff’s March 22nd coverage:
On Friday, as the European Union announced its plan for a “Digital Green Certificate” that would be required of all travelers in Europe, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis drew a line.
Ron laid it out:
“I just want to make very clear in Florida, we are not doing any vaccine passports. All those experts said that it was a bad idea. I think it’s a bad idea and so that will not happen. And so folks should get vaccinated, if they want to, we’ll obviously provide that, but under no circumstances will the state be asking you to show proof of vaccination, and I don’t think private companies should be doing that either.”
And now, some among the congressional GOP are going the Ron route.
While Joe Biden’s crew works on a national-scope passport, House Republicans have proposed a bill banning federal enforcement of such.
Hence, on Thursday, Andy Biggs (R-AZ) issued a statement:
“I am profoundly disturbed that the Biden Administration would even consider imposing vaccine passports on the American people. My private healthcare decisions — and yours — are nobody else’s business. Vaccine passports will not help our nation recover from COVID-19; instead, they will simply impose more Big Brother surveillance on our society.”
Andy attaboy’d DeSantis:
“I especially applaud Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for being an early leader against vaccine passports at the state level. My No Vaccine Passports Act builds on his efforts and will further protect Americans’ privacy rights and fundamental freedoms.”
A press release indicates the legislation would “prevent federal agencies from issuing any standardized documentation that could be used to certify a U.S. citizen’s COVID-19 status to a third party, such as a restaurant or an airline.”
This bill prohibits proof of COVID-19 vaccination from being a requirement for access to federal or congressional property and services.
From Section 2, “Prohibition of Agencies Issuing Vaccine Passports”:
An agency may not issue a vaccine passport, vaccine pass or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying the COVID-19 vaccination status of a citizen of the United States to a third party, or otherwise publish or share any COVID-19 vaccination record of a citizen of the United States or similar health information. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination shall not be deemed a requirement for access to Federal property or Federal services, or for access to congressional grounds or services.
The legislation has 18 GOP co-sponsors: Jeff Duncan (SC), Greg Steube (FL), Warren Davidson (OH), Ben Cline (VA), Yvette Herrell (NM), Andy Harris (MD), Louie Gohmert (TX), Russ Fulcher (ID), Chip Roy (TX), Mary Miller (IL), Bill Posey (FL), Ralph Norman (SC), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA, Ted Budd (NC), Randy Weber (TX), Scott Perry (PA), and Jody Hice (GA).
As noted by The Daily Wire, Florida’s not the only state to block vaccination requirements for access to public goods and services. Count among the group Texas, Utah, and Idaho.
Still, that’s only four out of 50.
The notion of needing a pass — or, some might prefer, a mark — to participate in society doesn’t exactly describe, so far as I understand it, the American Dream.
In this case, if we can’t all have access to the opportunities offered by the nation — without needing to be needled — it appears to me we’ve gone a might off course.
Then again, even if the “No Vaccine Passports Act” becomes law, that can probably just as well be said.
Either way, in lieu of other laws, it’s coming.
So are you ready for your vaccine passport? If not, perhaps, it’s more timely than ever that you should be.
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