White House: Americans Not Required to Carry ‘Vaccine Passports’
White House press secretary on Tuesday said that CCP virus “vaccine passports” will not be developed or supported by the Biden administration, coming after several GOP governors issued executive orders barring them.
“The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential,” Psaki told reporters on Tuesday at the White House.
Psaki last month responded to reports that the administration was working with private firms to create a passport system, saying the administration would provide guidance.
“Our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is American’s privacy and rights should be protected so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” Psaki clarified Tuesday. She again said the government would provide guidance on privacy concerns related to vaccines.
Some countries have either proposed or are using a vaccine passport-style system. But it has been criticized by civil liberties groups, who said it would potentially violate Americans’ privacy rights while denying key services to people who are not vaccinated.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, issued an executive order Monday that would bar their usage.
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Abbott said in a statement.
And Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, issued a similar order last week after having criticized the passports as a “terrible idea.”
New York state, however, rolled out its “Excelsior Pass” system that would mandate people show that they have been vaccinated when trying to enter certain events and locations such as Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s not yet clear if the Excelsior Pass will be used in other places.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that it does not recommend vaccine passport-style systems “at this time,” citing concerns about whether the vaccine is actually effective in reducing the transmission of the CCP virus as well as the lack of vaccinations being done in certain parts of the world.
“We as WHO are saying at this stage we would not like to see the vaccination passport as a requirement for entry or exit because we are not certain at this stage that the vaccine prevents transmission,” WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told a news conference in Geneva, Switzerland, as reported by the Reuters news agency.