Photo from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press release.
Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed Monday to take executive action to forbid the use or function of what many are calling ‘vaccine passports’ in the state of Florida.
He looking to stop the government as well as private sectors from imposing the requirement upon people trying to live their everyday life.
“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,” said DeSantis.
“It is not necessary to do.”Ron DeSantis, Gov. of Florida
“You want the fox to guard the henhouse? I mean, give me a break,” the Republican governor added. “I think this is something that has huge privacy implications. It is not necessary to do.”
3.5 million seniors to be vaccinated shortly
So far America’s Sunshine State will, by the end of the week, DeSantis says, have vaccinated a total of 75 per cent — or 3.5 million seniors.
“We are going to have hit three and a half million seniors that have gotten shots sometime this week. Likely 75 per cent of seniors,” he said.
“We are not going to have you provide proof of this just to be able to live your life normally.”Ron DeSantis, Gov. of Florida
“It’s important to be able to do it, but at the same time, we are not going to have you provide proof of this just to be able to live your life normally and I’m going to be taking some action in an executive function — emergency function very shortly,” DeSantis said.
White House working with the private sector on ‘Vaccine Passports’
DeSantis’ announcement came after the Biden Administration announced they would be working with private companies to develop COVID passports.
“The government is not viewing its role as the place to create a passport nor a place to hold the data of citizens. We view this as something that the private sector is doing, and we’ll do what’s important to us,” Andy Slavitt, the senior adviser to the White House Covid-19 Response Team, told reporters at Monday’s briefing.
White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki said the White House COVID-19 task force will ensure that the credentials meet essential standards of accessibility and affordability.
“There are a couple of key principles that we are working from. One, is that there will be no centralized universal federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential. Secondly, we want to encourage an open marketplace with a variety of private sector companies and nonprofit coalitions developing solutions. And, third, we want to drive the market toward meeting public interest goals,” she said.
New York first to launch COVID passport “Excelsior Pass”
“Excelsior Pass is built on IBM’s Digital Health Pass solution and is designed to enable the secure verification of health credentials such as test results and vaccination records without the need to share underlying medical and personal information. The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join and help foster a safer, trusted transition to a post-pandemic reality,” reads the Press Release from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.
The app first launched on Friday, March 26, is already in use to prove vaccination status or negative test results can be used to gain access to wedding receptions, which now require negative tests from attendees, as well as other venues that exceed the social gathering limits in the state.
Larger venues like the Times Union Center and Madison Square Garden will begin using the app on April 2. The “Excelsior Pass” will then be used in other venues such as “smaller arts, entertainment and event venues,” said Gov. Cuomo’s office last week.
The app won’t show any health information when scanned — it’ll only show a green checkmark if the person has been vaccinated or tested negatively or a red “x” if they haven’t. The app will use blockchain technology and encryption to ensure that health information is stored securely.
Although many still question the security of these types of apps regardless.
While Gov. DeSantis gets the appeal of vaccine passports for some — he thinks it would create problems and isn’t necessary to roll out.
“I understand, kind of, how some folks can embrace the idea — and I’m not saying it’s all necessarily done for bad purposes — but I think ultimately it would create problems in the state, it’s not necessary to do,” he said.
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