This past Friday, Mark Gordon, Republican Governor of Wyoming, released a directive that blocks all state agencies from adopting and using any form of the vaccine passports that some states will be requiring for their people to take part in large sporting and entertainment events.
Under this new order, all state facilities, commissions, and agencies are mandated to “provide full access to state spaces and state services, regardless of a constituent’s COVID-19 vaccination status.”
“Vaccine passport programs have the potential to politicize a decision that should not be politicized,” Gordon stated in his release. “They would divide our citizens at a time when unity in fighting the virus is essential, and harm those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine. While I strongly encourage Wyomingites over the age of 16 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”
After the stalling of a piece of legislation that would have set up a “vaccine bill of rights,” Gordon took action. The legislation, which was introduced to the State House this mast March, sought to “protect [Wyoming’s] citizens against unconstitutional and medically irresponsible COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”
“‘[V]accine passports,’ ‘digital health IDs’ and other such required documentation pose substantial risks to personal privacy and equal treatment under the law for all citizens of Wyoming and the United States generally,” stated the legislature.
However, some Democratic-run states have been approving and initiating their own vaccine passports or official documentation that completes the same goal. Back in March, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic Governor of New York, released an announcement that introduced the new “Excelsior Pass” program that will let New York citizens use a COVID-19 “passport” in order to enter businesses, theaters, and sports arenas.
The newly established “Excelsior Pass” will use a, supposedly, secure technology to prove that a New York resident has received their vaccinations for COVID-19 or has been issued a recent negative test result. The Barclays Center and Madison Square Garden are the test sites for this new program.
“As we begin reopening the valves on different sectors of our economy, we are putting guidelines in place to ensure individuals attending events involving larger gatherings have tested negative for COVID or have been vaccinated to avoid an outbreak of the virus. The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal,” Cuomo stated.
On the flip side, Ron DeSantis, Republican Governor of Florida, has started down the path to ban these vaccine passports.
“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society,” DeSantis stated in a press conference. “You want to go to a movie theater, should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a game, a theme park? No. So we’re not supportive of that.”
“We always said we wanted to provide it for all but mandate it for none,” DeSantis concluded. “And that was something that, while it was advised to take particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it.”