While a number of entities, countries and organizations around the world, including the state of New York, are starting to roll out controversial vaccine passport projects, one US state has made it clear that it is staunchly opposed to adopting such a scheme.
As the Biden administration is reportedly exploring its options in order to pick a federal-level vaccine passport solution, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced on Monday that he would make sure this does not happen in his state.
To that end, DeSantis announced he would sign an executive order prohibiting local authorities and businesses operating there from requiring people to present their Covid, i.e., vaccine passes.
These certificates, issued in digital form to prove that a person has received one of the vaccines against coronavirus (or, depending on jurisdiction, had tested negatively), are being promoted as a way to ease travel and reopen economies devastated by Covid lockdowns.
But Florida, which has been making great efforts throughout the pandemic to stay open and is now proceeding with vaccination of ever-younger age groups, appears as if it will not fall in line in joining one of the vaccine passport schemes.
“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 DeSantis has said.
Critics of Covid passports share this sentiment, warning that this new type of restriction introduced under the guise of removing previous ones has human rights and discrimination implications, noting also that it will be technically impossible to fully guarantee the safety of sensitive digital medical data collected from people for this purpose.
DeSantis and Florida have played somewhat of a maverick role during the pandemic so far in a bid to salvage what could be salvaged of the state’s economy hit by the Covid restrictions, rejecting to force people to wear masks and making sure this was enacted as law thanks to another executive order.
DeSantis, a Republican who is also a big critic of Big Tech censorship and is trying to get the ball rolling on that front as well, believes that forcing businesses and individuals to require or accept vaccinations passports would represent what he called “an unprecedented expansion of public and private power.”