Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy is blasting the idea of COVID vaccine passports, saying they are more fitting for “Communist China,” not the US.
McCarthy, the Republican leader in the House, reflected the growing opposition to the vaccination documents, while giving credit to former President Donald Trump’s administration for producing a vaccine.
“Thanks to the safe vaccines from Operation Warp Speed, we will defeat the virus. But forcing Americans to carry a ‘vaccine passport’ to go about daily life is unacceptable in a free society,” McCarthy of California posted on Twitter.
“That’s something you’d expect in Communist China. Not in the United States of America,” he said.
While New York was the first to embrace the vaccination passports, launching its “Excelsior Pass” app last month, a number of other states run by Republicans have either expressed hesitancy or banned them outright.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an executive order on Tuesday banning state agencies or organizations that receive state funds from requiring the documents.
“Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal private health information just to go about their daily lives. That is why I have issued an Executive Order that prohibits government-mandated vaccine passports in Texas,” Abbott said in a statement.
“We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”
Fla. Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a similar executive order last week.
In Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said the state must “take a stand” against the passports, vowing to use executive action to ban them if necessary.
“I strongly oppose vaccine passports, and I believe that we must take a stand as a state against them, which I intend to do either through legislation or executive action,” Reynolds said, according to the Des Moines Register.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican from Georgia, also said he opposed the passports.
“I do not and will not support any kind of state-mandated vaccine passport. While the development of multiple safe, highly effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a scientific miracle, the decision to receive the vaccine should be left up to each individual,” Kemp said on Twitter.
The Biden administration, which has encouraged all Americans to get their shots, said it won’t issue vaccine passports because of privacy issues.
“The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday. “There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”
But the White House is working with the private sector on the parameters of creating a passport showing people have been vaccinated so they can travel or attend concerts and sporting events.