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Texas Bans Vaccine Passports With Governor Warning Biden ‘Don’t Tread On Our Personal Freedoms’

by : Julia Banim on : 06 Apr 2021 16:22
Texas Bans Vaccine Passports With Governor Warning Biden 'Don't Tread On Our Personal Freedoms'PA Images

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed legislation banning Joe Biden’s proposed vaccine passports, warning the president not to ‘tread on our personal freedoms’.

President Biden has previously spoken about the possibility of a program whereby those who have been vaccinated against coronavirus will be given digital proof of their immunizations. This proof can then shown before participating in everyday activities, such as dining in restaurants or boarding planes.

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Speaking with reporters on March 29, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated that verification-related policies will be primarily focused on guidance, with the potential development of a vaccine passport overseen by the private sector rather than the US government.

At the same press conference, Psaki confirmed that it would not be mandatory for people to receive these potential vaccine passports.

Psaki stated:

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We expect […] that a determination or development of a vaccine passport, or whatever you want to call it, will be driven by the private sector. Ours will more be focused on guidelines that can be used as a basis.

And there are a couple key principles that we are working from. One is that there will be no centralized, universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.

Vaccine passports have previously been described as an app containing a code that can verify whether or not a person has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for coronavirus. This sort of app is already being used in Israel, and is understood to be in development in parts of Europe.

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Texas governor Abbott has shown strong opposition towards the possibility of such a passport, signing an order that will prohibit ‘organizations receiving public funds from requiring consumers to provide documentation of vaccine status in order to receive any service or enter any place’.

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The governor has since made his position on vaccine passports clear, saying in a video message:

Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.

That is why I have 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.

Alongside the video, Abbott wrote: ‘Texans shouldn’t be required to show proof of vaccination & reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. I issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas. Don’t tread on our personal freedoms.’

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Abbott is not the only state governor taking a stand on this issue. On Friday, April 2, Florida governor Rick DeSantis issued an order prohibiting vaccine passports and banning businesses from requiring this sort of proof.

DeSantis argued that this requirement would infringe upon personal freedoms, and would create ‘two classes of citizens’.

Furthermore, as of a few days ago, Republican senators in Pennsylvania were understood to be drawing up legislation to prohibit vaccine passports from being used to stop people participating in routine activities.

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus and want up to date advice, visit the Gov.uk help page here. If you need medical help call NHS 111 or visit online.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Greg Abbott, Joe Biden, Now, Texas

Credits

The White House
  1. The White House

    Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psaki, March 29, 2021