Justin Bullock, FISM News
As the COVID-19 vaccine is becoming more widely available and more and more Americans are receiving it, many businesses and social groups are requesting proof of vaccination. This practice is even more widespread internationally, particularly in the European Union, and Americans will be required to provide proof of vaccination if they wish to travel to most foreign countries. In response, ten states have identified a vaccine passport as an instance of needless discrimination and made mandatory vaccine proof illegal. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.
In addition, Texas Senator Ted Cruz has introduced a bill with Republican Senators Mike Braun from Indiana and Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming that would prohibit the need for and use of vaccine passports or anything like them. The bill comes in response to the growing practice of making one’s vaccine status public as many social media platforms and even online dating apps have introduced vaccination badges. In addition, airlines have been eyeing implementing some sort of system where proof of vaccination would be required. Senator Cruz’s bill, if passed, would prevent the US government from becoming involved in any such programs.
On Friday, the three Republican Senators gave statements introducing the bill. Senator Cruz said,
Americans shouldn’t be discriminated against because of COVID-19 vaccine status – whether that is at work or in everyday life. Americans have a well-established right to privacy that any mandated vaccine passport would destroy. A vaccine passport would be discriminatory against people who, for whatever reason, do not get the COVID-19 vaccine. We should be encouraging individuals to receive the vaccine through increased patient protections, not mandating it… The truth is not everyone can receive the COVID-19 vaccine – for legitimate reasons. I got the vaccine because it was the right decision for me, but people should be free to make the decision that is right for them and consult with their doctor if they have concerns. Individuals who are unable to receive the vaccine should not be denied access to aspects of everyday life or the opportunity to participate in society. Mandating the vaccine or requiring all individuals to be fully vaccinated before returning to normal life could prevent America from fully reopening.
Senator Braun said,
The COVID vaccines are a medical miracle and getting vaccinated is a personal decision some may choose not to make for a variety of reasons. I’m proud to stand with Senator Cruz against vaccine passports.
And Senator Lummis said,
The government should not be in the business of exposing Americans’ private health information. Our job should be to protect citizens’ privacy rights – that’s what the 4th Amendment of our Constitution is about. I’m proud to support Senator Cruz in this effort to protect people in Wyoming and across the country from federally issued vaccine passports and mandates.