White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted Tuesday that the U.S. government would not be putting in place a federal vaccine passport system.
‘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 said at the press briefing.
She acknowledged that private companies and non-profits were looking into ways Americans could prove they were vaccinated against COVID-19 as the country works toward reopening.
‘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 said.
She was asked about vaccine passports after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott became the second Republican governor to sign an executive order that prohibited the state government from requiring Texans show proof of inoculation.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted Tuesday that the U.S. government would not be putting in place a federal vaccine passport system after Republicans lined up against the concept
Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed an Executive Order Tuesday that prohibits government from requiring people show proof of vaccination against coronavirus to ‘go about their daily lives’
Abbott’s announcement came after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also took executive action banning COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’
‘Texans shouldn’t be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives,’ the Texas Republican governor tweeted along with a video message.
‘I issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas,’ he added: ‘Don’t tread on our personal freedoms.’
‘These vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,’ Abbott said in his video message on Twitter Tuesday morning, adding encouragement for Texans to get the jab.
‘We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health,’ he continued, ‘and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.’
Texas is the most populous red state – and Abbott says 13 million vaccine doses have been administered of its 29 million citizens.
On Sunday, the Texas Rangers’ home opening game saw a packed stadium of fans as further proof of a return to normalcy in the Lone Star State.
‘Don’t tread on our personal freedoms,’ Abbott demanded in a tweet with the video announcement
Mississippi’s GOP Governor Tate Reeves has also said he doesn’t support vaccine passports and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has called them Biden’s ‘mark of the beast.’
Governor DeSantis signed an emergency order Friday banning so-called ‘vaccine passports’, claiming they would create ‘two classes of citizens’.
The order prevents any state-run organization and private business from demanding that their staff or customers show a vaccine passport to work there or gain services.
In a press conference last Monday DeSantis said: ‘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 be able to participate in normal society.’
‘Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life — such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater — would create two classes,’ he added.
The Texas Rangers’ home opening game on Monday was packed with fans as the state continues to open at a more rapid pace than other states
Fans not wearing masks cheered on the team, three weeks after Abbott dropped the state’s mandate on face coverings
While DeSantis and Abbott are the only governors who have issued official orders banning the passport idea, other Republicans have harshly condemned the proposal.
Mississippi’s Republican Governor Tate Reeves said Sunday that he opposes the potential of vaccine passports in his state, claiming they are an unnecessary measure.
‘I don’t support vaccine passports,’ he told CNN’s ‘State of the Union’ host Jake Tapper. ‘I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America.’
He added: ‘At some point we have to let Americans make the decision that they think is best for them and their family.’
Reeves didn’t give much reasoning, but did tout the vaccination rate among seniors in his state.
Mississippi is one of the state’s Biden claimed is using ‘neanderthal thinking’ by ending mask mandates earlier this year.South Dakota Governor Kristi Nomen called vaccine passport ideas as ‘un-American.’
Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene called it ‘Biden’s mark of the beast,’ and demanded GOP Governor Brian Kemp ban it in the Peach State. Others have called it ‘dystopian’ and reminiscent of ‘Nazi Germany.’
The Biden administration said there are at least 17 different passport initiatives being developed by public and private entities.
The World Health Organization is also working to develop a ‘smart vaccination certificate.’
The White House, however, said last week it would not impose any restrictions at the federal level related to vaccine passports, like keeping a nationwide database of those inoculated.
Psaki doubled down on that statement Tuesday.