There have been rumors that President Joe Biden supports a plan for a so-called “vaccine passport” that could be used nationwide for people to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccination, ostensibly enabling them to more quickly return to a semblance of “normalcy” in their lives.
That won’t be happening in Florida, however, at least not if Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has anything to say about it. The governor announced this week that his state will take no part in such arrangements, Business Insider reported.
In voicing his opposition to the plan, DeSantis raised concerns about patient privacy and the potential abuse of power by both corporations and the government, not to mention the unfairness of the inevitable sort of caste system that would result between the vaccinated and unvaccinated in terms of their ability to participate in regular society.
“We’re not supportive of that”
“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,” DeSantis said at a news conference in Tallahassee on Monday.
“You want to go to a movie theater. Should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a game, should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a theme park? No. We’re not supportive of that,” he said, according to Business Insider.
With regard to the inherent privacy concerns of major corporations having access to people’s medical histories — the governor said that “passports” almost certainly won’t stop at just the coronavirus vaccines. “You want the fox to guard the henhouse? Give me a break,” he said.
DeSantis announced his intention to issue an emergency executive order, likely at some point this week, that would prohibit businesses and governments in the state from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccine, and would press the legislature to back up the order with a law.
The Orlando Sentinel reported that DeSantis made the remarks about a potential vaccine passport during a ceremony in which he signed legislation that would provide a measure of liability protection against lawsuits for businesses and schools that had reopened amid the pandemic.
That law would require litigants who claimed to have become infected with COVID-19 due to the policies of a business or school to obtain an affidavit from a medical professional stating they had contracted the disease on the particular property, as well as clear the relatively high legal standard of providing “clear and convincing evidence” that the policies of such businesses and schools constituted “gross negligence.”
“We don’t want to be in a situation where people are scared of being sued, just for doing normal things,” DeSantis said with regard to the new law, which will take effect immediately.
“We worked very early on to look at, to see ways that we could provide some certainty for both businesses, and health care providers. This was obviously a top priority for many of us up here. And I think that the Legislature has been able to deliver today,” the governor added.
This is great news, and proof once again that out of all of the nation’s governors and elected leaders, DeSantis is at the forefront of those aiming to quickly move past the pandemic and see society return to pre-pandemic normalcy as soon as possible.