(CNS News)- Missouri will never mandate the COVID-19 vaccine or require a “vaccine passport,” Governor Mike Parson (R-Mo.) said Wednesday.
“We’re never going to do that in the state of Missouri. We’re never going to have a mandate, a passport, a vaccine passport in this state,” Parson said in an appearance on “Fox and Friends.” “You know, if people want to carry a card, then carry a card, that's fine. That's called freedom. It's called individual rights. But, it's not government's place to do that,” Parson said.
Parson, who joins other governors such as Greg Abbott (R-Texas) and Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) in ruling out “vaccine passports,” warned of the privacy concerns raised by vaccine passports:
“One, it's all about the privacy of the individual who received the vaccine, who didn't. Also - and do we really want the federal government to have all that information in its data base to be able to use it for whatever reason they might want to use it as time goes forward?”
Additionally, there are still far too many uncertainties regarding vaccines, the governor warned:
“And I think the other thing is, we have been in the vaccination business for four months, actually, with COVID-19. This whole process for over a year now has had so many unknowns in it, so many people that were experts that really turned out not to be so experts and all the things we have heard from this.”
“So, who knows where this vaccine is going to go? I'm not for sure what the end result of this is going to be yet on what it does. I think it's way premature.”
Missouri has prospered amid the coronavirus without mandates and shutdowns, and Missourians are already getting vaccinated without being forced to do so, Gov. Parson said:
“And so, you know, we didn't do the mask mandate here in this state. We didn't shut businesses down. You know, and all those steps that we did, you know, we are now in the top 10 in the United States in our economy. We’re in the top 10 on our unemployment rate.
“We are second in the nation on second doses in this state by not doing mandates. So, I think everybody just jumps to a knee-jerk reaction when I think you have got to mandate the American people to do something and that's not who we are.”
Parson said it should be up to individuals and private business to decide who to let into their homes and businesses:
“It's kind of, when we start talking about who can go to church and who can't go to church, how many people can you have in your own private homes versus who can’t. We should have the right to be able to say who comes in our homes, when we go to church. And also what events we go to.
“If somebody in a private business says, ‘Hey, I want to be able to see a card’ when you come in here to have a meal, if you go to a ballgame, okay, so be it. Then you have a choice whether you go or not. But, government should not mandate that, nor should they keep that kind of information on everyone, not to mention the people that's got it, but also the people that hasn't had it.
“And what do you do with herd immunity? Where do those people come in? Where does someone come in that has had COVID-19 and have already recovered from it? Where do they stand with this?”
“So, again, it’s just premature to even be talking about that, I think, and we’re just not going to do that here in this state,” Parson said.
The White House has also ruled out the idea of a “vaccine passport.”
"The government is not now, nor will we be supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Tuesday.