White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday insisted that the U.S. government would not introduce a federal vaccine passport system.
“The government is not here now, nor will we support a system that requires Americans to carry ID. There will be no federal vaccination database and there will be no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination record, ”Psaki said at the press conference.
She acknowledged that private companies and nonprofits were looking for ways Americans could prove they were vaccinated against COVID-19 as the country works towards reopening.
“Our interest is very simply of the federal government, namely, US privacy and rights must be protected so that these systems are not used unfairly against people,” Psaki said.
She was asked about vaccine passports after Texas Governor Greg Abbott became the second Republican governor to sign an executive order prohibiting the state government from requiring Texans to provide proof of vaccination.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Tuesday insisted that the U.S. government would not introduce a federal vaccine passport system after Republicans opposed the concept.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an Executive Order on Tuesday prohibiting the government from requiring people to show evidence of coronavirus vaccination in order to “ go about their daily lives. ”
Abbott’s announcement came after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also took executive action to ban COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’
“Texans should not be required to show evidence of vaccination and disclose personal health information just to live their daily lives,” the Texas Republican governor tweeted along with a video message.
“I have enacted an Executive Order banning government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas,” he added, “Don’t trespass on our personal freedoms.”
“These vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said Tuesday morning in his video message on Twitter, encouraging Texans to get the shot.
“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health,” he continued, “and we will do so without trespassing into Texans’ personal freedoms.”
“Don’t enter our personal freedoms,” Abbott demanded in a tweet accompanying the video announcement
The executive order against coronavirus vaccine passports comes after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, also a Republican, took the same action last week.
GOP Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves has also said he does not support vaccine passports and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called them Biden’s ‘mark of the beast’.
Texas is the most populous red state – and Abbott says 13 million vaccine doses have been administered out of its 29 million residents.
On Sunday, the Texas Rangers’ opening game saw a packed stadium with fans as further evidence of a return to the norm in the Lone Star State.
Governor DeSantis signed an emergency injunction on Friday to ban so-called ‘vaccine passports’, claiming they would create ‘two classes of citizens’.
The injunction prevents state organizations and private companies from requiring their staff or customers to show a vaccine passport in order to work or obtain services there.
In a press conference last Monday, DeSantis said, “It is completely unacceptable for both the government and the private sector to require you to show proof of vaccination just to participate in normal society.”
“Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports to participate in everyday life – such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater – would create two classes,” he added.
The Texas Rangers’ opening game on Monday was packed with fans as the state opens at a faster pace than other states.
Fans not wearing masks cheered the team three weeks after Abbott dropped state mandate on face cover
While DeSantis and Abbott are the only governors to issue official orders to ban the passport idea, other Republicans have harshly condemned the proposal.
Republican Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves said on Sunday that he opposes the potential of vaccine passports in his state and claims they are an unnecessary measure.
“I don’t support vaccine passports,” he told CNN’s State of the Union host Jake Tapper. “I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America.”
He added, “At some point, we have to let Americans make the decision that they think is best for them and their families.”
Reeves didn’t provide much reasoning, but did praise the vaccination coverage among seniors in his state.
Mississippi is one of the state’s Biden claiming to use “ Neanderthal thinking ” by ending mask mandates earlier this year. South Dakota Governor Kristi Nomen called vaccine passport ideas “un-American.”
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called it “Biden’s mark of the beast” and demanded that GOP governor Brian Kemp banned it in Peach state. Others have called it ‘dystopian’ and is reminiscent of ‘Nazi Germany’.
The Biden administration said at least 17 different passport initiatives are being developed by public and private entities.
The World Health Organization is also working on the development of a ‘smart vaccination certificate’.
However, the White House said last week that it would not impose restrictions at the federal level on vaccine passports, such as keeping a nationwide database of those who have been vaccinated.
Psaki doubled down on that statement on Tuesday.