Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order banning government required vaccine passports.
This makes Texas the latest state to take actions against a form of documentation that would require people to prove that they have had the Coronavirus vaccine. This follows suit after Governor Ron Desantis of Florida also outlawed government mandated Covid vaccine passports in the state of Florida. Over the past couple of weeks there has been heavy debate among lawmakers over government mandated Covid vaccine passports. Democrats insist that the Covid vaccine passport would expedite the process for the reopening of the country. Last month New-York became the first state in the country to pass a law to require proof of vaccine or proof of a negative Covid test.
Governor Cuomo defended the vaccine passport by calling it “another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely”. However Republicans have heavily criticized any idea of Covid Vaccine passports citing unnecessary government intervention. Utah Governor Spencer Cox in March passed a bill which stopped the government, state colleges, and other public facilities from requiring individuals to get the Covid vaccine. In addition, some groups have raised equity concerns over a passport available on a phone only vaccine passport. Jay Stanley of American Civil Liberties Union stated “A system that is exclusively digital, whether by design or as a practical matter, would be a nonstarter because it would increase inequality” [US News].
The banning of vaccine passports comes after reports that the Biden administration is working with agencies and corporations to develop a system or documentation to prove that an individual has taken the Covid vaccine. However current Press Secretary Jen Psaki has said that the Biden administration currently has no plans to implement a vaccine passport system, stating, “The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential.”
Governor Abott has outlawed the use of vaccine passports in state agencies, political subdivisions, and any public entity that receives public funds.Governor Abbott issued the following statement defending his actions of banning government required Covid Vaccine passports “Texans shouldn’t be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Abbott said in a statement. He also added “”We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms”. This action adds even more scrutiny after Abbott lifted the mask mandate on Texas [Forbes].
ARTICLE: AANAND MOHATO
POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN
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