The feds have said there will be no national vaccine passport system. That is not stopping a handful of states from requiring proof of vaccination.
Rumors of vaccine passports, or government requirements to prove vaccination status, have been a major concern since the announcement of a COVID-19 vaccine, with questions about the constitutionality of a government-mandated vaccine passport.
- The White House has said repeatedly it will not be proposing or implementing a national vaccine passport system, saying it should be “driven by the private sector.”
- Despite the White House’s steadfast refusal to even hint about a national vaccine passport, Dr. Anthony Fauci is lamenting the lack of a proof of vaccination system particularly when it comes to the airline industry, which will become a difficult conundrum now that the European Union is opening up to tourists who can prove they are vaccinated.
- In Michigan, state lawmakers are preemptively stopping any such proposals, with the state legislature’s House Oversight Committee approving a prohibition on state vaccine passports, which Gov. Whitmer has also said she is not interested in adopting.
- The Alabama state legislature approved a ban on vaccine passports while Ohio’s health director said they will not be instituting or working with the private sector to develop a vaccine passport. Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have also “banned or restricted the use of vaccine passports.”
- Some states and activists have not shut the door on the idea, as Oregon is requiring residents to show proof of vaccination in order to remove their masks in indoor settings like restaurants and churches, requiring the institution to conduct the check. New York has had an app, the Excelsior Pass being used as a vaccine passport of sorts, up and running for about a month.
- Meanwhile, the editor of one local paper in Colorado wrote in his publication that “the debilitating lack of good sense and courage by too many elected officials in Colorado” will prevent a passport-type system while insulting anyone who disagrees with him, saying “How cool would it be to get on a crowded airplane and not have to frown your way to a headache because the guy behind you looking like Ted Nugent started coughing just after the plane pushed back from the terminal?”
- Vox opined that figuring out the details and the legal obstacles are worth the trouble and that “vaccine passports actually unlock more freedom”, but that America “has seemingly given up” on what Vox views is an acceptable level of government mandates, pointing to several nations that have nowhere near the personal protections built into their laws or constitutions.
- Minnesota Public Radio broadcast a short debate between a proponent and opponent of vaccine passports, with the proponent saying allowable privacy violations occur all the time while the ACLU’s Jay Stanley argues the trade-off is not worth it.
- The Washington Post reported on Norwegian Cruise Lines’ threat to no longer sail to and from Florida as a result of the state’s ban on vaccine passports, saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “has sought to undermine” the safety of cruise ships by not requiring vaccination of passengers.
- Fox News host Will Cain’s Monday night monologue issued a dire, if not hyperbolic, warning that vaccine passports are the left’s way to “normalize” vaccine requirements and that “the fight to control you is just beginning.”
- Celebrity attorney Alan Dershowitz told Newsmax it’s likely American courts would uphold states’ vaccine passports while making a clear distinction between vaccine passports and vaccine mandates: Positing the theoretical argument that “perhaps you do have the right not to get that vaccine, but you don’t have the right to keep that information from me.”
- Townhall columnist Rob Jenkins warned against federal intrusions of privacy despite supposedly loosening their grip by ending mask mandates and calling vaccine passports “fascist” and a “dystopian nightmare” that would “require a difficult and protracted legislative battle” in most states.
It is apparent most states do not have the desire to implement some sort of vaccine proof requirement and are leaving it up to the honor system for its residents and businesses. But the way in which the left characterizes opponents to their ideas is shocking in how snide, condescending, and insulting it is. Vox’s utter refusal to understand the fundamental protections enshrined in the Constitution, and how they are both important to the American citizenry as an often-necessary frustration of government ambition, is par for the course of an entire class of journalist-activists who behave as though history started with the election of Barack Obama.
Some of the more hyperbolic voices on the right are equally as exasperating, as the questions of privacy vs health, public safety vs freedom, are important and nuanced. Pretending that nearly all school districts don’t require students to be vaccinated for a host of diseases (which have been effectively eradicated partly because of vaccination requirements!) is to ignore reality.
But the media does not have the incentive to provide an open space for nuanced discussion and debate. It must turn the outrage machine up to 11, whether it’s Rachel Maddow or Will Cain.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021