While discussing his new bill to ban vaccine passports, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) told Fox and Friends on Friday that “there is a real potential for government overreach” with the vaccination issue.
“I don't believe anyone should be forced to take the vaccine,” said Cruz. “It should be your personal choice. You should make the choice based on your health, based on the decisions you want.”
The No Vaccine Passports Act would prohibit mandated vaccinations, the use of federal funds to create “any federal, state, private, or international vaccine passport system,” and discrimination in hiring and employment based on one’s vaccination status.
The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).
"The COVID vaccines are a medical miracle and getting vaccinated is a personal decision some may choose not to make for a variety of reasons. I'm proud to stand with Senator Cruz against vaccine passports,” said Braun in a press release.
Places of public accommodation are also explicitly prohibited from discrimination against people based on their vaccination status, in the bill.
In addition to banning vaccine passports, the bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, as well as restrict the Biden administration from mandating vaccinations.
Despite the White House claiming it will not mandate a vaccine passport, the Biden administration has engaged in a “multi-agency coordination effort led by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to develop criteria and principles for a vaccine passport created by the private sector,” reads the legislation.
Furthermore, the Biden administration recently announced that it was looking “very closely” at vaccine passports for international travel, according to Axios.
According to the bill, “The European Commission has proposed a Digital Green Certificate” that will show a passenger’s tests, vaccinations, etc. The World Health Organization released draft recommendations in 2021 for a “Smart Vaccine Certificate.”
Vaccine passports have become a concern for Americans as employers, universities, and events alike begin to require vaccinations.
The bill identifies discrimination as a likely effect of vaccine passports. According to the bill, they could cause businesses to “begin to require a customer to demonstrate his or her health status, through the presentment of a vaccine passport or other ‘papers,’ or require private health information.”
“The denial of service in such cases could be based on an individual’s disability, health status, or familial status,” reads the bill.
“The government should not be in the business of exposing Americans' private health information,” said Sen. Lummis. “Our job should be to protect citizens' privacy rights -- that's what the 4th Amendment of our Constitution is about.”
The need for restoring public trust is also stressed in the legislation.
The bill charges that Congress can bolster public trust by protecting the privacy and voluntary, informed consent rights of citizens. The bill states that individuals must be able to make informed decisions about their healthcare “without fear of coercion, forced vaccination, loss of civil liberties, or risk of adverse employment action.”