White House press secretary Jen Psaki downplayed government support for a vaccine passport system Tuesday, asserting the administration did not support requiring Americans to carry a vaccine credential.
“Let me be very clear on this. I know there’s been lots of questions. The government is not now, nor will we be supporting, a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,” she said during the White House press briefing.
Psaki pointed to corporations in the private sector exploring the idea of a vaccine passport for certain events or economic activities.
“As these tools are being considered by the private and nonprofit sectors, our interest is very simple from the federal government, which is Americans’ privacy and rights should be protected and so that these systems are not used against people unfairly,” she said.
Psaki said the federal government would provide a “frequently asked question” guidance about issues regarding privacy, security, and discrimination when it came to private companies setting up systems to prove individual vaccination shots.
The White House previously stated the government would take an active role in helping corporations develop a vaccine passport, including recommendations and guidelines for how to make it universal and affordable.
The Federal Health IT Coordinating Council met virtually in March to discuss the process, including the importance for the government to get involved.
“Federal government has a strong interest in how this plays out, and its actions will guide the pace and direction of the market,” a slide from the meeting obtained by the Washington Post read.
Republican-led states, however, are increasingly criticizing the idea of a vaccine passport, suggesting it may be more difficult for private corporations to succeed in developing a successful model.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed an executive order Friday prohibiting vaccine passports, promising the state legislature would pass further legislation on the issue for him to sign.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued an executive order Tuesday morning prohibiting state agencies from creating or using a vaccine passport.
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