Hawaii officials are seeking a digital vaccine passport for travelers to and from the state in an effort to combat COVID-19, despite outrage from Republicans who branded the plan by President Joe Biden’s “ mark of the beast. ”
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the passport could be in the form of an app that would allow passengers to present a QR code that would show they have been fully vaccinated.
Green said KHON 2 those state officials want to partner with First Vitals to create an app that shows evidence of vaccination.
‘They could verify the health record, then they would encrypt it so people can’t steal someone’s health record. Although it’s really just whether you got vaccinated or not, and your name and the date it took place, ‘Green said.
Until the app is ready to go, Green says travelers can use their vaccination card as proof.
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Hawaii lawmakers seek to develop a digital vaccine passport for travelers (pictured March 1 in Hawaii) in and out of the state to help curb the spread of the coronavirus
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green said the passport could be in the form of an app that would allow passengers to present a QR code that would show they have been fully vaccinated. Green said officials want to partner with First Vitals to create the app. A vaccination card can be seen above
Green told the news site that he would “like to test it with the cards in mid-April, at least for inter-island travel.”
‘I think that makes a lot of sense. It would probably allow about half of our travelers within the islands to travel safely, ‘he said.
Ultimately, the decision to move forward with the plan will rest with the Hawaii government, David Ige.
Last month, lawmakers in Hawaii said they are considering a bill that would standardize state pandemic travel restrictions across the islands, a departure from the current system that allows individual counties to create their own custom security measures.
Currently, island destinations have the option to opt out of the state’s ‘Safe Travels’ program, which requires a single negative COVID-19 test before departure to Hawaii to avoid mandatory quarantine.
Counties may require people to be quarantined for 10 days, implement additional screening requirements such as secondary testing, or create custom quarantines.
The measure requires all counties to allow travelers to be exempt from quarantine if they pass a negative COVID-19 test under the state program. But it would also limit the state’s ability to enact rules quickly without going through the law.
Hawaii has reported nearly 30,000 confirmed cases of the virus with about 459 deaths. The state has administered more than 610,000 vaccination shots.
Green says Hawaii administers up to 10,000 doses of the vaccine every day.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people don’t travel at all at this time.
As the US works to prevent another wave of COVID-19, some are throwing the idea of creating a digital passport app. In New York, government officials have launched a digital pass that uses a secure QR code (file image) that can be stored on a smartphone or printed
But in some states like Hawaii and Florida, thousands of Spring Breakers have dropped COVID restrictions while partying and enjoying the sun.
As the US continues to work to prevent another wave of COVID-19, some are throwing the idea of creating a digital passport app.
In New York, government officials have launched a digital pass that New Yorkers can download to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.
The Excelsior Pass is accepted at major entertainment venues such as Madison Square Garden and Albany’s Times Union Center.
The app is similar to a mobile airline’s boarding pass and uses a secure QR code that can be stored on a smartphone or printed.
Officials said the technology does not store or track personal health data in the app.
New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidelines to beat COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while reopening more sectors of the economy and keeping personal information safe ‘said Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
And while many think such passports would be of great help as society appears to be returning to some sort of norm by summer, others have criticized the move.
Republicans have already said they plan to fight the government’s bid to impose the digital passport on Americans.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said he is preparing to take executive action to ban Florida corporations from requiring customers to present a so-called “ vaccine passport. ”
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican, denounced the potential program as President Joe Biden’s “ mark of the beast, ” while former GOP congressman turned libertarian saying it is dystopian.
Greene said in a video Monday: ‘They want you to have a so-called COVID passport. And this would require your ability to travel, your ability to go to events, your ability to buy and sell. ‘
Is this like Biden’s mark of the beast? Because that’s really disturbing and not good, ”she continued.
In a tweet she wrote: ‘They are actually talking about people’s ability to buy and sell, linked to the vaccine passport. They might as well call it Biden’s mark of the beast. ‘
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took it a step further, claiming he will take executive action to prohibit corporations and local governments in the state from requiring any sort of proof of vaccination.
Greene said Republican Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia should also ban vaccine passports.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem didn’t go so far as to call for a ban, but said on Twitter on Monday that it is un-American.
Biden’s administration is working with companies on more than a dozen different vaccine passport ideas, despite claiming to leave the matter to the “ private sector. ”
The US is leading the world with more than 30 million confirmed cases and 550,998 deaths
“@Joebiden’s #CovidPassport proposal is one of the most un-American ideas in our nation’s history,” she lamented. ‘We Americans should be against this oppression. #freedom’.
Biden’s government vowed on Monday it would leave any form of vaccine passport requirements to the “ private industry. ” Amash does not buy it and claims that the government always has a way to get involved.
Let’s get the terms clear: a ‘vaccine passport’ is not ‘what we already do’. It is not proof of vaccination for international travel or education. It’s proof of vaccination for everyday life – groceries, restaurants, movies. It’s unfair to confuse the former with the latter, ‘he tweeted.
The former congressman continued: “Apparently another point needs to be made clear: libertarians can believe that something is a bad idea, even if it is done by a private actor (individual or company). It is not inconsistent to believe that a private actor has the right to do something, but shouldn’t. ‘
“I believe a vaccination passport – even a privately run one – will have extremely negative consequences for society,” he tweeted. ‘I don’t believe the government will stay out of it either; nor do I believe they will stop with COVID or vaccinations. The Patriot Act / FISA extension is educational. ‘
The US is leading the world with more than 30 million confirmed cases and 550,998 deaths.