Is FL Gov. DeSantis right to want to ban vaccine passports?


Fact Box

  • As of March 30, there have been 2 million coronavirus cases in Florida, with 33,338 reported deaths. 
  • Ron DeSantis is Florida’s 46th governor. Before his election in 2018, he served in the US House of the 6th Congressional District in Florida.
  • Of 12.2 million vaccine doses, Florida has administered 76%, which is 9.3 million doses. 
  • Governor DeSantis announced on Monday, March 30, that he would ban “vaccine passports” denying businesses from requiring their customers to provide proof of vaccination.

Andrew (No)

As a nation, we need to do everything possible to encourage as many people to get vaccinated as possible to end the nightmare that has been the coronavirus pandemic. By banning vaccine passports, Governor DeSantis would be taking away a powerful incentive for people to get vaccinated. This could potentially be very significant in a state like Florida, which sees so many visitors each year. Surely Florida residents wouldn’t want potentially infected people bringing the virus to their state, and the rest of the nation certainly doesn’t want the State of Florida to be a perennial source of infection.

Immunity passports are a hypothetical idea at this point. Implementation might be complicated and no doubt expensive; this is no reason to ban them. Rather than eliminating a potentially useful idea outright, Governor DeSantis should use his considerable resources to ensure that the best and brightest minds are working to make the safest, most fair, and most effective version of the passport available. 

Many of those opposing the idea of vaccine passports argue they have a right to move around freely and travel without the restrictions of showing a vaccine passport. These individuals should accept their responsibilities to fellow citizens by realizing that their travel could potentially spread infections, and a vaccine passport could be a powerful tool in limiting spread. Rather than attempting to score points with his conservative base by threatening to ban a useful public health tool, Governor DeSantis should focus on using every available tool to allow safe tourism and reduce the risk of further spread. 

Bill (Yes)

Florida Gov. DeSantis is right to oppose vaccine passports. Per the 1996 HIPAA law, the Government does not have the right to require citizens to divulge confidential medical information as a condition of participating in society. The principle that upholds abortion rights ('my body, my choice') should apply to vaccines as well. Americans should be able to assert their human right to bodily autonomy and exercise their freedom to pursue or reject medical options as they deem appropriate.

Over the past year, Americans have systematically had their rights stripped away through draconian executive edicts at the state and federal levels. Government officials granted themselves extraordinary powers to issue stay-at-home orders, shutter businesses, close schools and churches, limit travel, force the use of controversial, harmful and unreliable COVID tests, and limit freedom of speech by discrediting and censoring dissenting opinions. Medical passports are merely the latest example of government control dressed up as a public health safety measure.

Americans seem to have forgotten that lockdowns and the wearing of masks were sold to us as temporary measures, as little as 15 days, to 'flatten the curve.' The FDA deemed COVID to be a public health threat. This led to the government and media creating mass hysteria and fearmongering. Through the use of emergency authorization to develop vaccines, these vaccines—which have been hardly observed for safety, are now being heavily promoted—despite the 1,637 post-injection reported deaths in the US (as of March 8th) and the alarmingly high upper range of 9.7% FDA-reported adverse effects. Gov. DeSantis is right to see medical passports for what they are: an invasion of privacy and an additional unnecessary and dangerous government intrusion into the lives of its citizens.

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