Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Opposes ‘State-Mandated’ Vaccine Passports

In this Dec. 8, 2020, file photo, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp speaks to reporters during a COVID-19 update in the Capitol in Atlanta. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger won wide praise last fall for firmly rejecting former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud. …
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Tuesday came out against a “state-mandated vaccine passport” as a means to verify whether or not an individual has been inoculated against the coronavirus.

“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 wrote on Twitter.

It is unclear whether Kemp will follow fellow Republican governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott in banning the use of vaccine passports in his own state.

Earlier Tuesday, Abbott issued an executive order banning vaccine passports and prohibiting state agencies from receiving public funds for creating such documentation, citing mounting concerns that they infringe on citizens’ civil rights and liberties.

“Texans are returning to normal life as more people get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine. But as I’ve said all along, these vaccines are always voluntary and never forced,” Abbott said in a video statement. “Government should not require any Texan to show proof of vaccination and reveal 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. We will continue to vaccinate more Texans and protect public health — and we will do so without treading on Texans’ personal freedoms.”

Abbott’s directive comes as Texas continues to see coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths decline.

On Friday, DeSantis issued an executive order effectively banning the use of vaccine passports in Florida. The directive also prohibits businesses from requiring customers to provide proof of vaccination.

“There was never under discussion any mandates to take vaccines. We will not have COVID vaccines mandated in Florida,” DeSantis said last Monday. “The flip side of that though with these vaccine passports is 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.”

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