Dr Anthony Fauci has said the U.S. government will not require Americans who are immunized against COVID-19 to use so-called ‘vaccine passports.’
The idea behind these passports is that they would offer proof of vaccination so that people could perform daily tasks such as eat in restaurants, travel, shop and so on.
But they have also raised concerns about privacy and whether this will discriminate against people who choose to not be vaccinated – although it is unlikely such a system would work in the U.S. because it would need to be implemented equally across all 50 states.
During an appearance on the POLITICO Dispatch podcast on Monday morning, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said the Biden administration will not mandate their use.
‘You could foresee how an independent entity might say: “Well, we can’t be dealing with you unless we know you’re vaccinated,”‘ Fauci told host Jeremy Siegel.
‘But it’s not gonna be mandated from the federal government.’
Dr Anthony Fauci said during an appearance on the POLITICO Dispatch podcast on Monday morning that the U.S. government will not require the use of vaccine passports. Pictured: Fauci during a press conference at the White House, January 2021
Vaccine passports would use a QR code to provide proof immunization so Americans can perform daily activities (file image)
Last month, the European Union revealed a proposal for vaccine passports or, as it is calling them, Digital Green Certificates.
It will allow those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or who have tested negative, to travel across all 27 member states.
As of Monday, just one U.S. state, New York has rolled out a COVID-19 vaccine passport.
Called the Excelsior Pass, New Yorkers can upload results – either showing a negative test within the last 72 hours or two weeks since their final dose – to enter stadiums, theaters and other venues.
But several lawmakers, mostly from the GOP, argue that proof of inoculation is overreach from the government.
In Florida, Republican Gov Ron DeSantis issued an executive order banning government entities from issuing vaccine passports or private business from requiring them.
Last week, state senators in Pennsylvania began crafting legislation to ban vaccine passports from being used to deny entry to people.
And, in Montana, lawmakers voted banning discrimination based on immunization status.
‘I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept,’ Fauci said.
However, he did note that although the federal government will not implement vaccine passports, he believes individual business, such as theaters, or schools may require the passports for entry.
Rutgers University in New Jersey became the first in the nation to require all students to be vaccinated before arriving on campus in the fall.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said individual businesses, such as theaters, or schools might mandate them for entry, as 32% of the population has received at least one dose
The U.S. is vaccinating between three and four million people every day, which Fauci said should help drive down rising case numbers
Currently, cases in the U.S. are rising with an average of about 60,000 per day, akin to what was being see during the summer 2020 surge.
On the podcast, Fauci said one of the ways to get the number of cases to decline is to keep ramping up vaccinations.
According to the CDC, 106.2 million Americans – 32 percent of the population – have received at least one dose and 61.4 million – 18.5 percent – are fully immunized.
‘The vaccine situation has been truly a remarkable success story,’ he said.
‘We’re putting in between three and four million vaccinations per day. So every day that goes by, we get the country better and better protected.’