Florida and Texas Governors Sign Executive Orders Banning Vaccine Passports
On Apr. 2, 2021, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis signed an executive order “prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports.” Gov. DeSantis said that Florida legislature is “working on making permanent these protections for Floridians” and that he looks forward to “signing them into law soon.”1 2 3
The DeSantis order also bars a state government agency from issuing vaccine passports to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.1 2 3 The Executive Order states, “Individual COVID-19 vaccination records are private health information and should not be shared by a mandate.” Gov. 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.”2
Governor Greg Abbott of Texas followed suit on Apr. 6 signing an executive order prohibiting state agencies and businesses from issuing or requiring vaccine passports. “We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health, and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms,” Gov. Abbott said, adding:4
[A]s I have said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.5
Georgia and Mississippi Governors Do Not Support Vaccine Passports
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said on Apr. 6, “I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport. While the development of multiple safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual.”6
Mississippi’s Governor Tate Reeves is also not a fan of vaccine passports. On Apr. 4, he said, “I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America.” He added that, “at some point we have to let Americans make the decision that they think is best for them and their family.”7 8
South Carolina Lawmakers Urge Governor to Ban Vaccine Passports
The use of ‘vaccine passports’ to restrict commerce is a threat to both personal liberty and medical privacy. We are committed to fighting this violation at the federal level, and we urge you to do the same by working with Attorney General [Alan] Wilson at the state level.9 10
White House Statement Discounts Federally Required Vaccine Passports
During a press conference on Apr. 7, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the federal government will not issue vaccine passports but the Biden administration will be working with companies, which are independently developing vaccine passports requiring individuals to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, to address privacy protection issues. “The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” Psaki said. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”11
She added, “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.”12
On Apr. 5, 2021, Newsweek reported that Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and chief medical advisor to the Biden administration, thinks it’s likely some businesses will require customers to show proof of vaccination before entering a space occupied by other customers or employees.13
There may be theaters that say, ‘You don’t get in unless you have proof of vaccination.’ There may be colleges or other educational institutions that do that. I’m not saying they should or that they would—I’m saying you could see how an independent entity might say, ‘Well, we can’t be dealing with you unless you’re vaccinated, but it’s not going to be mandated from the federal government.13
If you would like to receive an e-mail notice of the most recent articles published in The Vaccine Reaction each week, click here.
Click here to view References:
1 Bekiempis V. Ron DeSantis issues executive order banning ‘vaccine passports’ in Florida. The Guardian Apr. 2, 2021.
2 Murray K, Lemos G. Florida governor bans Covid-19 ‘vaccine passports’. CNN Apr. 3, 2021.
3 The Associated Press. Florida governor issues order banning ‘vaccine passports’. ABC News Apr. 2, 2021.
4 The Associated Press. Texas governor bans mandated COVID-19 ‘vaccine passports’. ABC News Apr. 6, 2021.
5 Madani D. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bans government-mandated ‘vaccine passports’. NBC News Apr. 6, 2021.
6 Fox 5 Atlanta Digital Team. Gov. Brian Kemp says he does not support ‘vaccine passports’. Fox 5 Atlanta Apr. 6, 2021.
7 Haselhorst S. ‘I don’t think it’s necessary’: Mississippi governor admonishes vaccine passports. Clarion Ledger Apr. 6, 2021.
8 Cole D. Mississippi GOP governor pushes back on vaccine passports: ‘I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America’. CNN Apr. 4, 2021.
9 Balchunas C. Vaccine passport mandate unlikely in SC. ABC 4 News Apr. 5, 2021.
10 Keene H. South Carolina lawmakers call on governor to ban ‘vaccine passports’. Fox News Apr. 5, 2021.
11 Bloomberg. White House rejects U.S. vaccine passports, skirting uproar. Los Angeles Times Apr. 7, 2021.
12 Samuels B. White House rules out involvement in ‘vaccine passports’. The Hill Apr. 6, 2021.
13 Roos M. What Dr. Anthony Fauci Has Said About COVID Vaccine Passports. Newsweek Apr. 5, 2021