Governors lining up to fight 'little piece of paper'

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (

getting a vaccination vaccine injectionThe push for so-called “vaccine passports” continues to make headlines and raise eyebrows over the issue of civil liberties, but there is now a grassroots effort urging more governors to speak out and fight back.

Twila Brase, who leads Citizens' Council for Health Freedom and is a patient’s rights advocate, has also been an advocate for freedom during a year of COVID-19 lockdowns. She is now urging governors to follow Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, to tell the federal government it can’t make such demands. 

“Governors should ban this everywhere across the states,” Brase tells One News Now, “and it would be good for citizens to encourage them to do so."

Gov. DeSantis appeared to be the first state governor to respond to the Biden administration and announce Florida would never allow a “vaccine passport” that would regulate travel and movement among citizens.

DeSantis, who is getting national attention for a possible White House run, was praised -- sort of -- in a Politico op-ed for jumping out in front of the controversy as soon as it started making headlines. In the op-ed, Politico reporter Jack Shafer writes that "liberals might want to pause their reflexive opposition to the governor’s latest move to consider whether his anti-passport stand, fully considered, makes a point worth endorsing."

In other states, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has denounced the idea, too, and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has said his state would not participate in the “terrible idea” of such a restrictive program.

“Any sort of vaccine passport would violate our freedom of movement and (would) certainly violate our privacy with regards to our own health, (as there) could be a HIPAA violation." Gov. Ricketts told the "Washington Watch with Tony Perkins" program.

COVID vaccineResponding to the push, the Tennessee Senate passed a bill banning the practice in a 27-3 vote. A similar bill is moving through the state House, too, and Tennessee’s governor, Bill Lee, has said he supports the legislation.

According to an NPR story written to reassure the public, the “passport” idea is really more like a credential that can “demonstrate a person’s health status” using a smartphone app or a QR code.

A spokeswoman for the airline industry told NPR it is simply “digitizing a little piece of paper that has your vaccine information on it.”

The same NPR story quoted Dr. Zeke Emanuel, a bioethicist and past member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board. He said asking for proof of a vaccinnation can help states ease lockdown restrictions. 

“It's really not a passport to necessarily cross borders. It's a certification,” he said. “It's providing information about what your status is in some area.”

Last week, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters "the government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential."

Brase, Twila (CCHF)Psaki went on to insist there will be no database of those who have – or have not – gotten a vaccine, and there will also be no federal mandate requiring one, she said.

In the Politico op-ed, Schafer point out that the White House is denying any involvement but, in reality, the Federal Health IT Coordinating Council met in March to discuss a "unified policy" for just such a passport requirement. 

Farther down in the NPR story, it states that such passports will “almost certainly” be used for international travel but the story goes on to predict their usage at “sporting events, movie theaters, music venues, workplaces, and for domestic travel.”

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