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Home / World / Vaccine passport efforts aroused opposition from Republican lawmakers

Vaccine passport efforts aroused opposition from Republican lawmakers

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (AP)—Vaccine passports are being developed to verify the immunization status of COVID-19 and allow vaccinated persons to travel, shop, and dine more freely. This has become the latest hot spot in the permanent political war in the United States. Republicans will It is portrayed as a heavy burden. Violation of personal freedom and private health choices.

They currently exist only in one state-a limited government partnership between New York State and a private company-but this has not stopped GOP lawmakers in a few states from rushing to propose legislation prohibiting their use.

The debate over whether the passport is a wise response to the flu pandemic or the government’s excessive intervention echoes the fierce dispute over masks, work stoppage orders and even the vaccine itself over the past year.

A vaccine pass is usually an application with a code that verifies whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-1

9.They are being used in Israel It is also under development in parts of Europe and is seen as a way to safely help rebuild the tourism industry hit by the pandemic.

They aim to make businesses open more safely with vaccine-driven development, and they reflect measures that have been taken against schools and overseas travel, which require proof of immunization against various diseases.

But lawmakers across the country are already opposed to this idea. Republican senators from Pennsylvania are drafting laws that prohibit the use of vaccine passports (also known as health certificates or travel passes) to prohibit people from performing daily activities.

“We have constitutional rights and health privacy laws for a reason,” said Republican Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. “In times of crisis, they should not cease to exist. These passports may start with COVID-19, but where will they end?”

Beninghof said this week that his focus is “using taxpayer money to create a system that may now be in the hands of a large high-tech organization that has been plagued by hacking and security issues.”

Democratic colleague, Rep. Chris Rabb of Philadelphia, believes that vaccine passports will be valuable if implemented properly.

Raber said: “The use of technology and other means to confirm the identity of people is useful.” “But we do worry about privacy, surveillance and unequal access.”

Republican lawmakers in other states have also been drafting proposals to ban or restrict them. A bill introduced in the Arkansas legislature on Wednesday will prevent government officials from requesting vaccine passports for any reason and will prohibit their use as a condition for “entry, travel, education, employment or services.”

Sponsor Republican Senator Trent Garner called the vaccine passport “just another example of the Biden administration using COVID-19 to impose regulations or restrictions on everyday Americans.”

The administration of President Joe Biden has largely taken a laissez-faire approach to vaccine passports.

At a press conference this week, Andy Slavitt, the acting administrator of the Medicare and Medicaid Services Center, said that he believes this is a project aimed at the private sector rather than the government.

He said the government is considering federal guidelines to guide the process surrounding vaccine passports. Its concerns include: not everyone who needs a passport has a smartphone; passports should be available in multiple languages ​​for free; and private health information must be protected.

“There will be organizations that want to use them. Dr. Brian Anderson of Mitre runs a federally funded research center that is part of an organization working to develop vaccine certification standards so that it can be used by various suppliers. It is easier to use between.

Anderson pointed out that the Vaccination Credential Initiative does not make recommendations on the organization’s choice or even how to choose to use the certificate.

In Montana, Republican lawmakers passed a party vote this week and passed a series of bills prohibiting discrimination based on vaccine status or possession of a tax-exempt passport, and prohibiting the use of vaccine status or passports to obtain certain benefits and services.

A freshman Republican state legislator from Ohio spoke on this concept, saying that more restrictions or orders will not solve every COVID-19 problem.

Rep. Al Cutrona said: “Ohio people are encouraged to take the COVID-19 vaccine to protect their own health and the health of others. “However, our government should not mandate or require vaccines to enable our people Return to a sense of normalcy. “

Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis (Ron DeSantis) An executive order was issued stating that no government agency can issue vaccine passports, and businesses in the state cannot request it. He said he hopes that the legislature will pass similar laws.

His order said, “The so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports that require participation in daily life-such as participating in sports competitions, patronizing restaurants or going to the cinema-will create two types of citizens.”

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, R-Georgia, the newly elected member who has accepted and launched his own far-right political stance, told her supporters on Facebook earlier this week: “Some The so-called vaccine passport is a form of “corporate communism” and part of the Democratic Party’s efforts to control people’s lives.

A Republican congressman in Louisiana has passed a bill to prevent the state from including any vaccination information on a Louisiana driver’s license or to make the issuance of a driver’s license affected by the status of the vaccine.

in New York, The government introduced a vaccine passport called Excelsior Pass. A smartphone app that shows whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19.

Democratic governor Andrew Cuomo touted the idea, such as allowing venues to use their smartphones to scan the codes of concert performers.

New York officials have not yet released specific details about how the app works, accessing someone’s vaccination or testing status or protecting a username, date of birth or where to scan their code. The application’s privacy policy states that data will be “maintained in a secure manner” and will not be used for sales or marketing purposes, and will not be shared with third parties. But some privacy experts say that the public needs more details to ensure that their information is protected.

Albert Fox Cahn, founder and executive director of the Surveillance Technology Surveillance Project of the Urban Justice Center, a New York-based civil rights and privacy organization, warned that Excelsior Pass will create a new layer of surveillance regarding how to collect data or protect privacy.

“We basically only have screenshots of the user interface, and nothing more,” Kahn said of Excelsior Pass.


Associated Press writer Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio; Marina Villeneuve, Albany, New York; Candice Choi, New York; Andrew De, Little Rock, Arkansas Andrew DeMillo; Amy Beth Hanson, Helena, Montana; Melinda Deslatte, Baton Rouge, Louisiana ) Contributed.

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