AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is using his executive power to ban state government and some private entities from requiring COVID-19 “vaccine passports” to access services. Abbott signed the mandate Tuesday.
It blocks state agencies, political subdivisions and public and private organizations that receive public funding from requiring proof that someone in Texas has been inoculated against the coronavirus.
It’s the latest move from a Republican governor pitting public health campaigns against personal freedom and private choices.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a similar executive order last week forbidding local governments and businesses from requiring so-called “vaccine passports” to show proof that customers have been inoculated against the coronavirus.
“We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. “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.”
The White House meanwhile is ruling out the creation of a national “vaccine passport” for Americans to verify their immunization status, saying it is leaving it to the private sector to develop a system for people show they’ve been vaccinated. Some other countries are establishing national databases to allow vaccinated people to resume normal activities.