This past week, New York became the first state in the nation to implement a COVID-19 “vaccine passport.”
Some other states were essentially jumping at the bit to get ahold of the new tool and release it, but Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is wholeheartedly against it.
“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. “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 continued in a press conference on Monday. “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.”
Often mentioned as a potential candidate for the 2024 presidential elections, the governor stated that Americans should have the agency to make their own decisions on health and voiced concerns over privacy when it came to the passes.
“You’re going to do this and, what, give all this information to some big corporation? You want the fox to guard the henhouse? I mean give me a break,” DeSantis stated. “I think this is something that has huge privacy implications. It is not necessary to do.”
According to USA Today, starting Friday in New York state residents “will be able to pull up a code on their cellphone or a printout to prove they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recently tested negative for the virus that causes it.”
The report also went on to state that the corporations hosting the “vaccine passports” will not have access to the person’s medical information.
“The New York system, built on IBM’s digital health pass platform, is provided via blockchain technology, so neither IBM nor any business will have access to private medical information. An entertainment venue will simply scan the QR code and get a green checkmark or a red X.” the report continued.
The passport, called the Excelsior Pass, will first be rolling out for use at larger venues like madison square garden. However, by the end of next week, it should be adopted by almost all arts and entertainment venues across the state.
The Excelsior Pass was pushed heavily by Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo as a way to help get the state opened back up and help businesses hurt by the pandemic. The whole program is funded by state taxpayers and available for free to businesses.