This past Thursday, Republican Governor Ron DeSantis stated that Floridians would not have to provide proof of vaccination to be able to attend public events in his state.
“I just want to make very clear in Florida, we are not doing any vaccine passports. All those experts said that it was a bad idea. I think it’s a bad idea and so that will not happen. And so folks should get vaccinated, if they want to, we’ll obviously provide that, but under no circumstances will the state be asking you to show proof of vaccination, and I don’t think private companies should be doing that either,” the governor said Thursday.
DeSantis made it a point to say that it was up to the individual resident of Florida whether or not they should be vaccinated and which events they felt safe going to.
“To start going down the road of vaccine passports, I mean, you have some of these states saying to go to a sporting event, you have to show either a negative test or a vaccine proof. I think you just got to make decisions. If you want to go to an event, go to an event. If you don’t, don’t. But to be requiring people to provide all this proof, that’s not how you get society back to normal so we’re rejecting any vaccine passports here in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said.
According to a news source from Orlando, Florida, the governor spoke on the topic in a meeting with medical personnel on Thursday. In attendance were Dr. Scott Atlas, professor Sunetra Gupta, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, and Dr. Martin Kulldorff who all agreed with the governor and were unanimously against the idea of a vaccination identification program by saying it would only lead to more harm than good.
“The vaccine hesitancy data show that the people who are hesitant to take vaccines actually tend to be the working class people, poor, poor people, minority populations. We’re going to then turn around and say, ‘You have to have a vaccine passport to participate in American life,’ it’s going to be a new vaccine Jim Crow. It’s a huge, huge mistake that will undermine trust in public health, and I think it’s just morally, it’s just morally wrong,” –Dr. Bhattacharya
This decision from the governor come out as many other states, countries and other areas are already rolling out their own “vaccine passport” programs and have started ramping up for summer travel. Israel has its “Green Pass” for citizens to prove vaccination, and the European Union announced that it plans to require some type of “digital certificate” to prove vaccination. As we have previously reported, New York has also announced its intentions to require an “Excelsior Pass” for people to prove vaccination or a recent negative Caronavrus test.
according to The Associated Press, business groups and airlines are “lobbying the White House to take the lead in setting standards for health passes. They believe that would avoid a hodge-podge of regional credentials that could cause confusion among travelers and prevent any single health certificate from being widely accepted.”
In a statement, Andy Slavitt, a Whitehouse virus-response adviser, stated: “It’s not the role of the government to hold that data and to do that … It needs to be private, the data should be secure, the access to it should be free, it should be available both digitally and in paper and in multiple languages.”