By: Amy Jo Underwood
The governors of Florida and Texas have banned the use of vaccine passports in their states, asserting that vaccines are voluntary and that to mandate them would be a violation of personal freedoms. More states are expected to join in banning vaccine passports, despite the push from the Biden administration.
Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) and Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) have both issued executive orders banning the requirement for vaccine passports in their states.
Gov. Abbott stated, “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.” He stated that Texas would not have government-mandated passports. Gov. DeSantis went a step further and banned vaccine passports entirely, but allowed businesses to operate with other COVID-19 precautions.
According to the New York Post, the Biden administration is actively working with private industries to develop a system for vaccine passports. New York City is releasing a pass that will allow vaccinated individuals to access venues in the city that are off-limits to non-vaccinated individuals. The pass is located in an app with a QR code that is scanned at events to verify the vaccination status of the individual.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the Biden administration is focusing its efforts on encouraging the private sector to drive the vaccine passport initiatives, but that the administration intends to provide guidance.
“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 participate in normal society.” - Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL)