As we’ve been covering in the Trends Journal for months, Israel and the European Union have been leading the charge for a “Green Passport,” which would require proof of vaccination before being allowed to travel freely.
For more on this, see our articles: 2 March: NO JAB, NO FREEDOM, 19 January: AIRLINES & BUSINESSES: NO JAB, NO ENTRY, and 9 February: VACCINE PASSPORTS WILL END UP TRACKING EVERYTHING.
Now, the Biden Administration is working with private corporations on a U.S. version of a “vaccine passport.”
According to a report in the San Diego Union on Sunday:
“The effort has gained momentum amid President Joe Biden’s pledge that the nation will start to regain normalcy this summer and with a growing number of companies—from cruise lines to sports teams—saying they will require proof of vaccination before opening their doors again.”
The federal effort is being led by the Department of Health and Human Services where five officials “spoke on condition of anonymity” to a San Diego Union-Tribune reporter. The White House “declined to answer questions about the passport initiative.”
The White House effort is headed by coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients who stated at a 12 March briefing that the passport would be “designed from the start to protect people’s privacy.”
Advocates for the passports say they will be free and easily available through smartphone apps, which would show a scannable code comparable to an airline boarding pass. Those without smartphones could print out the vaccine passport.
One of the cheerleaders for the vaccination passport effort is the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), a group working on creating across-the-board standards for tracking the records of those who choose to get jabbed. One of the VCI’s advisors, Dr. Brian Anderson, is quoted:
“The busboy, the janitor, the waiter that works at a restaurant, wants to be surrounded by employees that are going back to work safely—and wants to have the patrons ideally be safe as well.”
The San Diego Union-Tribune got hold of slides presented at a 2 March session convened by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, which included officials from departments of Health, Homeland Security, and NASA, among others.
Some of the slides “warned of the confusing array of efforts underway to create credentials” and that the “chaotic and ineffective vaccine credential approach could hamper our pandemic response by undercutting public trust and confidence.” Concerns include the ability to hack the system and to create forgeries and counterfeit passports.
Backlash Opposition Expected
Some of those attending the 2 March session made it clear they thought the initiative would backfire. One claimed he would personally change his travel plans to avoid the need for the proposed passport, and others agreed there needed to be “a careful balance: Encourage shots and support the private-sector initiatives, but don’t put too much federal emphasis on the looming passports.”
Brian Castrucci, of the public health group the Beaumont Foundation, was blunt:
“If it became a government mandate, it would go down a dark road very quickly… If it becomes a credential… a ‘needing your papers,’ if you will. That could be dangerous—and it could turn off people.”
As reported by Advisory Board.com on 23 March:
“The Electronic Frontier Foundation, for instance, has said using digital vaccine passports that are smartphone-based for people to access public places would result in a two-tiered system that keeps people without access to cellphones or testing out of work, stores, or schools.”
Nicole Errett, a public health expert at the University of Washington, weighed in by saying, “If vaccines become a passport to doing different things, we’re going to see the communities that have been already hardest hit by COVID being left behind.”
Speaking for the majority at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology session, Kristen McGovern, a partner in the health-care consultancy Sirona Strategies, stated, “Many people see this as a key aspect to getting things closer to normal.”
TREND FORECAST: We maintain our forecast that a sizable segment of the population will be opposed to getting vaccinated. Thus, there will be an anti-vax, anti-tax, anti-immigration, anti-establishment movement. It will sow the seeds for a new political party that will attract a large segment of both Donald Trump supporters and libertarians.
Support the Trends Journal with these great products