Florida Leads the Way in Freedom

May 4, 2021

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill yesterday banning vaccine passports and an executive order that suspends all local government COVID-related emergency mandates.
 
DeSantis signed Senate Bill 2006, passed by Florida state lawmakers last month granting DeSantis the ability to override local emergency orders. The bill also includes a ban on vaccine passports by state and local government and by private businesses that levies fines of $5,000 per violation. While the bill does not take effect until July 1, DeSantis took executive action to suspend local COVID-19 orders in the state, such as local mask mandates, until it is fully implemented.
 
During a press conference yesterday, DeSantis said “I’m going to sign the bill. It’s effective July 1…. But then, to bridge the gap between then and now, I’m going to suspend, under my executive power, the local emergency orders as it relates to COVID. I think that's the evidence-based thing to do.”
 
“Over the last year we’ve avoided protracted lockdowns and school closures in Florida because I have refused to take the same approach as other lockdown governors. This legislation ensures that legal safeguards are in place so that local governments cannot arbitrarily close our schools or businesses,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected, and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision.”

On April 2, Gov. DeSantis issued an executive order stating that no government agencies may issue any vaccine passport, and that private businesses will not be allowed to require proof of vaccination from customers to enter the building or get served. He 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.” 

Gov. DeSantis’ executive order states, “Requiring so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports for taking part in everyday life—such as attending a sports event, patronizing a restaurant, or going to a movie theater—would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.” 

The vaccine passport will become America’s first social credit scorekeeping system, and many states are already fighting back with legislation. 

Vaccine passports can be paper or a digital code or app that records and displays the user’s health information, including COVID-19 vaccination status. Digital health or vaccine passports display a scannable code similar to an airline boarding pass. Tracking and tracing apps monitor the user’s movement and interactions with other people. The tracking and tracing app in Israel alerts the user who may be exposed to COVID and can direct the user to quarantine. The app will issue a warning if the user moves outside of the quarantine zone. 

The vaccine passport is being promoted worldwide to limit a person’s ability to leave home, work, shop, dine, travel, attend a public event, or even worship. Vaccine passports and tracking and tracing apps pre-date COVID and will not end with COVID. The implications for freedom are significant. 

Dr. Naomi Wolf, an author and Rhodes Scholar, predicts that the vaccine passport would eventually track every aspect of people’s lives and would violate the U.S. Constitution, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and HIPAA. 

Dr. Wolf said, “I cannot say this forcefully enough: This is literally the end of human liberty in the West if this plan unfolds as planned…Vaccine passports sound like a fine thing if you don’t know what those platforms can do. I’m CEO of a tech company, I understand what this platform does. It’s not about the vaccine, it’s not about the virus, it’s about data. And once this rolls out you don’t have a choice about being part of the system. What people have to understand is that any other functionality can be loaded onto that platform with no problem at all.” 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We commend Governor Ron DeSantis for his excellent leadership using research and common sense to protect the freedom of Floridians. Gov. DeSantis has set a great example to all other governors who should model his executive actions. Whether freeing churches and houses of worship, opening Florida and the schools, banning vaccine passports, or stopping local governments from requiring face coverings, Gov. DeSantis has made the right decisions. When some other governors are locking down businesses and churches, Gov. DeSantis has worked hard to allow them to thrive.” 



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