With an executive order signed on Friday, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis tried to put an end to the discussion of so-called “COVID passports” in his state.
On Twitter, DeSantis said, “Today I released an executive order banning the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports.” “The Legislature is working to make these rights permanent for Floridians, and I am looking forward to signing them into law as soon as possible.”
The order is consistent with DeSantis’ rhetoric over the last few weeks, in which he has slammed the idea of forcing citizens to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination in order to fully participate in society — which, by its very nature, requires people who do not want the vaccine to get one in the first place to get one.
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Government agencies are forbidden from providing “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other uniform documents for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party,” according to his order.
It also makes it illegal for companies in the state to require consumers or patrons to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or “post-transmission recovery” in order to access services. COVID-19 screening procedures can still be adopted by companies.
The order comes after DeSantis declared on Monday that he would take action against vaccine passports using “an administrative function, an emergency function,” and that the state legislature should draft legislation banning them.
“It is absolutely unnecessary for the government or the private sector to require you to demonstrate evidence of vaccination in order to simply engage in normal society,” he said.
As the idea of passports started to gain traction in corporate America and some government circles last month, the famous governor pushed back.
“I also want to be aware that we do not do vaccine passports in Florida. It was a horrible idea, according to all of the experts. In mid-March, DeSantis said, “I think it’s a terrible idea, and it won’t happen.” “So people can get vaccinated if they want to, and we’ll certainly include that, but the state would never require you to show evidence of vaccination, and I don’t believe private businesses should either.”
DeSantis said of the passports, “I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual liberty to make choices for themselves.” “I just wonder if you’re going to do this and then hand over all of your data to some major corporation? Do you want the fox to keep an eye on the henhouse? Give me a break, please.
“I believe this is something that has significant privacy consequences and should not be done,” he added. “By the end of this week, we’ll have reached 3 million seniors who have received vaccinations, which represents 75 percent of seniors. It’s important that you can do it. However, we would not ask you to have evidence of this in order for you to be able to live your life normally.