Biden Administration Gives Mixed Signals on Vaccine Passport

Apr 13, 2021

Digital “vaccine passports” are being promoted as a way for society to return to “normal.” As many as 30 countries are considering some form of these COVID-19 vaccination passports.

The idea behind vaccine passports is that travelers would be able to prove—if required—whether or not they have received a COVID injection. And the requirement of a passport would not just apply to travel; stores, restaurants and event venues could also require them for entry.

Vaccine passports will probably be a “scannable code displayed on smartphones,” according to The Washington Post. Individuals without smartphones will be able to print out a code to be scanned.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated on March 29 that the federal government would not have a federal vaccinations database, nor would it institute a federal mandate for Americans to carry a vaccination credential. But the Biden administration is also not staying out of discussions on the vaccine passport issue. In early March, the Federal Health IT Coordinating Council called for a unified approach “to ensure that Federal activities are working toward the same common goals for vaccine credentials.”

Despite vaccine passports being touted, not everyone is behind the idea. Some leaders have expressed concerns over privacy and how these passports will impact everyday life.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) introduced a bill in Congress that bans government agencies from creating vaccine passports.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order against the passport. He said requiring proof of vaccination is “completely unacceptable. And it’s not something we’re going to support here in any way in Florida.”

The governors of Texas and Idaho followed with their own state bans on mandatory vaccine passports.

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