Pete Buttigieg says federal government should ‘encourage’ vaccine passports
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the federal government should “encourage” private companies to implement vaccine passports when asked this week about Texas banning the practice.
“If a business, a business wants to take action to ensure the safety of its workers and passengers, I think from a government perspective we want to do everything we can to encourage that,” Buttigieg said. said KDFW FOX 4 in Dallas on Monday. “And that is certainly our point of view at the federal level.”
While Buttigieg appears fine with private companies requiring proof of vaccination, a Department of Transportation spokesperson told Fox News on Wednesday that the Biden administration does not support any form of government-mandated vaccination passport.
WHAT IS A VACCINE PASSPORT AND HOW WOULD IT WORK?
Dr Anthony Fauci says Politico in April that he doubts that “the federal government is the main architect of a vaccine passport concept”.
“I’m not saying they should or would, but I’m saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, ‘Well, we can’t deal with you unless we know you are vaccinated. “, but it will not be mandated by the federal government,” Dr Fauci told the outlet.
Governor Greg Abbott in April issued an executive order prohibiting state government agencies and any organization receiving public funds in Texas from requiring vaccine passports.
“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health – and we will do so without infringing on the personal freedoms of Texans,” Governor Abbott said at the time.
Then, earlier this month, Governor Abbott signed an invoice which extended that ban by banning private companies from requiring “a customer to provide any document certifying the customer’s COVID-19 vaccination.”
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a vaccination passport ban enacted in May, stating that “your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.”
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Hawaii and New York are the only states whose governments have taken the lead in vaccine passports.
New York launched a government-sponsored vaccine passport program earlier this year called “Excelsior collar“, which allows a user to show proof of vaccination on their smartphone.
Hawaii has launched a limited vaccination passport program for inter-island travel that allows residents to skip testing and quarantine rules, Hawaii News Now reports.