The saga of COVID-19 as a tale of two states – Florida and New York – continues.
While the two states have roughly equal populations, the approaches to the virus by Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo have been vastly different – with DeSantis prevailing by almost every measure.
Now, the public will see another dividing line: vaccine “passports.”
Cuomo actually made New York the first state to adopt such a thing, which appears like a cell phone app, to prove they’ve been vaccinated.
Said Cuomo, “As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.”
DeSantis, however, said on Monday the idea was a nonstarter – and promised an executive order this week to ensure it would not happen.
“We’re not supportive of that. I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual liberties to make decisions for themselves,” he told reporters.
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He called it “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.”
DeSantis also said it was a bad idea to force people to give away their data to Big Tech for this purpose.
“You want the fox to guard the henhouse? I mean give me a break,” he added.
“I understand, kind of, how some folks can embrace the idea, and I’m not saying it’s all necessarily done for bad purposes, but I think ultimately it would create problems in the state,” he said.
DeSantis’s comments echoed remarks he made at a recent roundtable with a handful of scientists who have rejected the ideas promoted by Cuomo and others who insist on debilitating lockdowns and dubious mask mandates as the way to fight COViD-19.
“The vaccine passport is a terrible idea. We are definitely not going to require anything from the state’s perspective. That is totally off the table,” DeSantis said.
“If I have businesses that want to do that in Florida, I think that that’s more than just a private decision.”
“Look, if you want to go to a movie theater or concert, all this stuff, go. If you don’t, don’t,” he argued. “But to require somebody to show some type of proof of vaccination, I think, is completely unacceptable, and it’s not something that we’re going to support here in any way in Florida.”