New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is still under a federal investigation for underreporting COVID-19 nursing home deaths as well as a stack of sexual harassment claims against him, just announced the rollout of the “Excelsior Pass” app. The program would be the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine passport program and has been advertised to New Yorkers as a “voluntary” measure, although state officials have made it clear that participating in it would lead to quicker results in “fighting the virus” and allowing the economy to “reopen safely.”
Gov. Cuomo introduced the measures as “another tool” in the toolbox to fight the virus while still keeping personal information secure. “The question of ‘public health or the economy’ has always been a false choice — the answer must be both. As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening,” Cuomo said.
The Biden Administration also reported that they will be working with several private companies on developing programs for Americans, adding that it would bring ‘easier’ access for those wanting to travel, attend events, or run businesses. They said the “vaccine passports” would be designed for people to prove that they have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and rebuild ‘normalcy’ within sporting events, cruise lines, etc. That’s what the government does. They take something away that was already free, to begin with, and offer it back for a price. It almost sounds like a warning. Do you want to take a cruise this summer? Only with the Vaccine Passport and proof of documentation. Then the cruise-lines will ‘open their doors.’
Airline agencies have also been in talks over implementing a “digital passport” which would provide the airlines with health information on passengers, adding that it would verify the flow of necessary testing and provide vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories, and travelers. More than 17 airlines are now testing the technology to scan and gain information on large crowds.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, has ridiculed such an idea and said it would not offer anything from the state perspective. “If you want to go to a movie theater or a concert or all this stuff, go. If you don’t, don’t. But to require somebody to show some type of proof of vaccination I think is completely unacceptable and it’s not something that we’re going to support in any way here in Florida,” he said.
America is about freedom of choice and giving law-abiding U.S citizens the constitutional right to make their own health choices. Not some heavily politicized app that reveals your health information and decides whether or not you’re allowed into a concert.