Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Use of Vaccine Passports

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis listens during a news conference at the old Pan American Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, Tuesday, July 7, 2020, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
AP Photo/Lynne Sladky

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an executive order Friday prohibiting the use of vaccine passports — a concept embraced by Democrats such as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) — and said the state legislature is working to make the protections “permanent.”

DeSantis, who has described vaccine passports as a “terrible” and “unacceptable” idea, announced his executive order Friday, which prohibits the use of what he described as “so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports” in the Sunshine State.

“The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon,” he said:

Per the executive order, Florida seeks to ensure that “every Floridian who desires a COVID-19 vaccine can obtain one,” emphasizing they will “not be mandated” and adding that vaccine passports “reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”

“Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life — such as attending a sporting event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater— would create two cases of citizens based on vaccination,” the executive order reads, adding that it is “necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce within the state.”

The executive order specifically states that “no Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise publish or share individuals’ COVID-19 vaccination record or similar health information.”

It also bars businesses from requiring patrons or customers to provide such documentation. All entities must comply to be eligible for grants or contracts funded through state revenue, the order adds.

Notably, the executive action does not prohibit businesses from continuing to implement basic coronavirus screening protocols in accordance with state and federal law.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed this week the White House is working with private companies to develop a vaccine passport, telling reporters the administration will “make some recommendations” throughout the process.

Fewer than half of U.S. likely voters believe a vaccine passport is a good idea, a Rasmussen Reports survey released this week revealed.

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