J.D. Vance: ‘Nothing More Antithetical’ to America than ‘Draconian’ Vaccine Passport Mandates

JD Vance, the venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy", addresses a rally Thursday, July 1, 2021, in Middletown, Ohio, where he announced he is joining the crowded Republican race for the Ohio U.S. Senate seat being left by Rob Portman. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Republican Ohio Senate candidate J.D. Vance on Thursday came out against using vaccine passport mandates to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Vance said in a statement shared to social media:

Let me be clear, there is nothing more antithetical to what this country stands for than draconian vaccine passport mandates. The idea that American citizens should be forced to “show their papers” to be able to go to the movies, eat out at a restaurant or attend a sporting event is something that you would expect to see in Communist China, but certainly not in the land of the free. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky’s comments endorsing the concept of vaccine passports here in America are shocking and should be immediately repudiated by the Biden Administration.

The Republican Ohio Senate candidate concluded:

It doesn’t matter if it’s coming from the government or a mega-corporation, freedom-loving Americans should reject any attempt to segregate Americans based on their vaccine status. No American citizen should ever be denied service and treated like a second class citizen for refusing to get a vaccine.

Vance’s comments come one day after Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said that if there are areas where “we have full vaccination in schools, we have full vaccination in teachers, all of those are documented, we have disease rates that are low,” then such areas may consider easing up mask rules in schools.

“We have always said that our guidance has to be taken to the local level,” Walensky stated when asked by CNN New Day co-host John Berman if all children in a classroom were vaccinated, would there be a need to wear masks? She went on to say:

And this is — I can imagine a situation where a school system might have all of their teachers documented and vaccinated, all of their children in a high school documented as vaccinated, and very little disease in the community. Right now, we don’t have a lot of situations that are like that, but I could imagine a situation like that, and boy do I hope we get there as schools start to open and we have more and more people vaccinated and disease comes down. And that might be a very reasonable approach. Right now, we have very few places in the country where that is true.

Vance’s opposition to vaccine passport mandates comes as some state and municipal governments, along with various multination corporations, have said that workers must be vaccinated against the coronavirus to work or else they will be subjected to weekly testing.

New York will require state employees to get vaccinated against the coronavirus by Labor Day or undergo weekly tests for COVID-19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday.

“It’s smart, it’s fair and it’s in everyone’s interest,” Cuomo said in a Zoom call with the nonprofit Association for a Better New York.

In mandating either the shots, or frequent testing for government workers, Cuomo is following on the heels of California and New York City, which announced similar policies for employees earlier this week. The governor called on local governments across New York to follow suit.

New York, like other states, has seen a rising number of coronavirus cases linked to the Delta variant: New infections have climbed 150% and hospitalizations have jumped 69% over the past two weeks.

“What we’re seeing is a pandemic among those unvaccinated people, but it affects everyone,” Cuomo said.

Cuomo said COVID-19 vaccines would be mandatory for “patient-facing” workers at state-owned hospitals and veterans homes. Those employees would not be able to avoid inoculations by undergoing weekly virus testing. The state runs large hospitals in Syracuse, in New York City, and on Long Island.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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