Ron Paul has warned that Covid-19 vaccine passports could be used by the US government to restrict freedoms, stirring up an already heated debate over whether such IDs are necessary.
The former US congressman and physician said on Monday that requiring certificates to verify vaccination for international travel or daily activities would “solidify the whole idea that our lives belong to the government.”
“They own liberty and now you are going to get permission to use a little bit of it. They are going to divvy it out a little bit. You’ll never get back what you should have,” he said while speaking on his program, the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
The Biden administration has acknowledged that it is collaborating with tech companies to develop a variety of potential vaccine passport apps. At the state level, New York has already created its own digital certificate that grants entry to venues.
“Vaccine passports” must be stopped.Accepting them means accepting the false idea that government owns your life, body and freedom. pic.twitter.com/nmlP2SN6iw
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) April 5, 2021
Paul warned that the initiative could be used to regulate nearly all aspects of life, including where you will be allowed to go and what kind of activities you will be permitted to participate in. He said he hoped Americans would “finally wake up” and oppose vaccine IDs. If people don’t “take a stand” now things are going to get “bad,” the former Texas lawmaker predicted.
He called on his supporters to reach out to family and friends in order to start a grassroots movement against identification programs, adding that those who choose to do so should understand “what life and liberty is.”
The message resonated with many. Some commenters echoed Paul’s fears that the initiative could be used to usher in a dystopian nightmare.
Insidious, Orwellian madness.
— Kalamynaedra (@Jessa_Trumaine) April 6, 2021
Others said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ pledge to ban the use of vaccine passports should be emulated nationwide and expressed hope that the Supreme Court will ultimately rule the IDs unconstitutional.
One observer said they opposed storing personal health data in a digital device but saw nothing wrong with doctors issuing paper certificates showing vaccination status.
There were plenty who disagreed with Paul, however.
“The government is there to serve & protect us,” argued one Twitter user, adding that while passports could potentially lead to discrimination, the spread Covid-19 poses a greater threat to our freedoms.
The freedom to spread death is not moral. Liberties have been suspended to reduce the spread of this virus and save lives. Yes, our liberties have been reduced, in the future, we will demand it back once the threat is REMOVED.
— Gary Snail (@Gizmo39671Gary) April 6, 2021
Another critic pointed to the use of Yellow Fever vaccination certificates in Africa and other parts of the world, saying that such systems are not an “inconvenience” and are necessary to safeguard public health.
While vaccine passports are a long way from being fully implemented in the United States, they’ve already been adopted in other parts of the world. Some countries, such as China, require digital certificates for international travel. Other nations, like Israel, require ‘green passports’ for domestic activities as well, preventing people without a vaccine ID from entering ‘non-essential’ businesses and venues.
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