This past Wednesday, Idaho became the fourth state on the list to put a ban on requiring proof of vaccination before its residents can use public services or attend events.
Republican Governor Brad Little issued an executive order that bans any “vaccine passport” laws. This comes after the ratifying of such orders from Florida, Utah, and Texas. Governor Little’s executive order, also, comes after New York state has started pushing their “Excelsior App” on people in order to prove their vaccination status for all public events.
“Idahoans should be given the choice to receive the vaccine. We should not violate Idahoans’ personal freedoms by requiring them to receive it,” Little stated in an announcement. “Vaccine passports create different classes of citizens. Vaccine passports restrict the free flow of commerce during a time when life and the economy are returning to normal. Vaccine passports threaten individual freedom and patient privacy.”
“I have serious concerns that implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports will violate Idahoans’ [medical] privacy rights, prejudice those unable to receive the vaccine, slow our economic recovery, cause division among our populace and, ultimately, be counterproductive to the widespread administration of the COVID-19 vaccines among Idahoans,” LIttle went on to say, bringing to light concerns that have been echoed by quite a few other Republican lawmakers.
This past Tuesday, we saw Texas Governor Greg Abbot also announce an executive order that banned mandatory vaccine passports. This order stopped all state and federal government agencies and all private entities receiving state funds from requiring proof of vaccination before serving someone.
“Every day, Texans return to normalcy as more people get the COVID vaccine. In fact, this week, Texas will surpass 13 million doses administered,” Abbott stated in his announcement on Tuesday. “Those shots help slow the spread of COVID, reduce hospitalizations, and reduce fatalities.”
“But, as I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced. Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,” Abbott continued. “That is why I issued an executive order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
Earlier last week, we saw Republican Florida Governor Ron Desantis also issue a similar executive order.
“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,” the Governor went on to say. “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.”
With this trend starting to pick up momentum it is time to watch for which states will adopt similar strategies, and which will accept these vaccine passports openly.