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6 Apr, 2021 19:55

Texas becomes 2nd US state to BAN vaccine passports as issue splits country politically

Texas becomes 2nd US state to BAN vaccine passports as issue splits country politically

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced a ban on so-called vaccine passports, becoming the second US governor to officially do so, just a few days after Florida’s Ron DeSantis. The issue has largely broken along political lines.

Abbott made an announcement on Tuesday declaring that no Texas government agencies or political entities would be permitted to require “vaccine passports” in the state. 

“Don’t tread on our personal freedoms,” the governor warned, even as he made clear that he was not against the idea of vaccination in principle, but resented forced vaccination. “Every day Texans return to normalcy as more people get (and become immune to) the spread of Covid-19,” Abbott declared, adding that the jabs “help slow the spread of Covid, reduce hospitalizations and reduce fatalities.” 

The Biden administration’s medical adviser, Anthony Fauci, seemed almost displeased with Texas’ refusal to slide down its predicted Covid-streaked death spiral, where “the restaurants and the bars are full and open, the ballparks are full, and yet we’ve seen cases and hospitalizations since then continue to tick downward,” as an MSNBC host put it.

“It looks like 2019,” he said in shock, noting that bars and restaurants in Florida and Texas were thronged with people celebrating their long-dormant right to gather outside their homes.

Attempting to explain why Texas and Florida’s case counts had dropped despite their having some of the least strict virus regulations, Fauci blamed a “lag,” arguing that the undesirable data everyone was waiting for was still coming – it was just a few weeks down the line. 

“We’ve gotta make sure we don’t prematurely judge [the case numbers],” the doctor continued.

At least 17 separate vaccine passes are in the works to track travelers’ medical data, the Biden administration told the media earlier this week, though the president has previously insisted that he has no plans for a nationwide vaccine passport.

Abbott’s Florida counterpart, Ron DeSantis, unveiled a similar ban on Friday, barring all state agencies and local businesses from issuing “vaccine passports” and banning state government agencies from doing business with private companies that require such passports. He has permitted businesses and restaurants to operate at full capacity since September, bringing in throngs of visitors as other coastal states remained at least partially shuttered, and has for weeks denounced vaccine passports as a “completely unacceptable” form of government intrusion.
Texas is the second state to ban vaccine passports, though in addition to Friday’s ban from Florida, other states including Missouri, Ohio, and even Pennsylvania have raised the possibility of banning the tech themselves. Even the World Health Organization does not support vaccine passports as a necessity for travel.

The media establishment was quick to rage at the Florida governor, insisting he “couldn’t be more dangerously wrong about vaccine passports,” and sneering at the governor’s supposedly “far-right, truth-denying, science-denying religious and nationalist base”– even as the state’s case count remains stubbornly low according to the state health department’s statistics.

Also on rt.com UK ‘exploring’ digital ‘freedom passport’ app proving Covid-19 negative status for right to visit public places – report

“These vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” DeSantis explained, adding that the “government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives.” He has even hinted at making “these protections for Floridians” permanent after the pandemic. 

The Florida governor and others against vaccine passports have expressed concern that the adoption of such mandates would “create two classes of citizens based on vaccinations,” and that putting private companies in charge of guarding vaccine data would be akin to putting the fox in charge of guarding the henhouse, deeming it preposterous that anyone must “show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”

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