Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday issued an executive order banning "vaccine passports" requiring people show proof of vaccination for COVID-19 in apparent response to New York’s Excelsior Pass.
"Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports," DeSantis wrote in a statement on Twitter. "The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon."
He added in a press conference last Monday, "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."
DeSantis said, "We always said we wanted to provide it for all but mandate it for none. And that was something that, while it was advised to take particularly if you’re vulnerable, we were not going to force you to do it."
He added, "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 participate in normal society."
DeSantis also said that he thinks people "have certain freedoms and individual liberties," when it comes to getting vaccinated.
He added, "You’re going to do this and what, give all this information to some big corporation? You want the fox to guard the hen house? I mean give me a break."
New York launched its vaccine passport last week, becoming the first state in the nation to do so. It will use a QR code to allow access into various venues.
The White House’s senior COVID-19 adviser, Andy Slavitt, said on Monday that the Biden administration is not "viewing its role as the place to create a passport, nor a place to hold the data of citizens."
He added, "We view this as something that the private sector is doing and will do," and said the government will ensure that these programs provide equitable access and protect privacy.
"It is important for us, and it will be – we will be very clear about how that will happen, that the guidelines that I just talked about are part of that process," Slavitt said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki added during a press briefing that there won’t be any "centralized, universal federal vaccinations database" and there will be "no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."
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