Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis sought to put an end to any talk about so-called “COVID passports” in his state with an executive order he signed on Friday.
“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis said on Twitter. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”
Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon. Read my EO here – https://t.co/6QwLsLWEWm
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 2, 2021
The order matches DeSantis’ rhetoric over the past couple of weeks in which he has ripped the concept of requiring citizens to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to fully participate in society — which, by its very nature also forces people who may not want a vaccine in the first place to get one.
His order prevents government agencies from issuing “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party.”
The Hill notes further:
It also prohibits businesses in the state from requiring customers or patrons to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or “post-transmission recovery” to receive services. Businesses can still institute COVID-19 screening protocols.
The order comes after DeSantis said on Monday that he would take action against vaccine passports via “an executive function, emergency function,” and called on the state legislature to draft legislation forbidding these passports.
“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 participate in normal society,” he said.
The popular governor pushed back on the notion of passports last month when the concept began to gain prominence in corporate America and in some government circles.
“I just want to make very clear in Florida, we are not doing any vaccine passports. All those experts said that it was a bad idea. I think it’s a bad idea and so that will not happen,” DeSantis said in mid-March. “And so folks should get vaccinated, if they want to, we’ll obviously provide that, but under no circumstances will the state be asking you to show proof of vaccination, and I don’t think private companies should be doing that either.”
“I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves,” DeSantis said of the passports. “I also wonder it’s like — you’re going to do this and then what, give all this information to some big corporation? You want the fox to guard the henhouse? I mean, give me a break.
“I think this is something that has huge privacy implications, it is not necessary to do,” he continued. “We’re going to have hit 3 million seniors that have gotten shots sometime this week, like 75 percent of seniors. 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, here very shortly.”