Florida Governor Bans Vaccine Passports
He probably lacks the legal authority. And business interests in is state will fight hard against him.
Axios (“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis bans coronavirus ‘vaccine passports’“):
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday prohibiting businesses from requiring customers to show proof they have received COVID vaccines and preventing the state government from issuing so-called “vaccine passports.”
Why it matters: Immunization credentials for the coronavirus have become a controversial subject, especially with Republican governors, though proof of vaccination could speed international travel and economic reopening plans.
What they’re saying: DeSantis’ order says requiring immunization credentials “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.”
“Businesses in Florida are prohibited from requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business,” the order states.
“It is necessary to protect the fundamental rights and privacies of Floridians and the free flow of commerce in the state.”
Businesses that do not comply with the order will be ineligible to receive state contracts or grants.
The big picture: The Biden administration has been working with private companies to create immunization credentials, and many businesses, including some in Florida, have said they’ll require proof of vaccination as part of reopening.
When Doug Mataconis emailed this story to me yesterday afternoon, I wondered where DeSantis derived the legal authority to do this. Doug is dubious as well.
The New York Times account (“Florida’s governor bans agencies and businesses from requiring ‘vaccine passports.’“) reinforces that suspicion:
Mr. DeSantis’s order is likely to draw legal challenges, raising questions about the impact of two Supreme Court decisions. In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the high court in 1905 upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws. That ruling for more than a century has let public schools require proof of vaccinations of its students, with some exceptions for religious objections.
In 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple on narrow grounds, and other courts have struggled with how to balance state laws barring discrimination against constitutional rights like free speech and the free exercise of religion. It is not clear that Florida businesses could invoke a constitutional right to refuse to comply with the new measure.
Still DeSantis is far from alone in opposing the practice.
Some other Republican governors have also come out against the passport concept. Gov. Pete Ricketts of Nebraska issued a statement Wednesday saying that the state would not participate in any vaccine passport program, and Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri told reporters Thursday that he would not require vaccine passports in the state but was also not opposed to private companies adopting them.
They are, however, swimming against the tide. While I fully understand the libertarian arguments against requiring proof of vaccination status, including the various slippery slope issues, the practicalities are rather overwhelming. As noted this morning, the CDC has finally acknowledged that fully vaccinated people should be allowed to gather in large groups, travel, and the like but, without being able to distinguish there is no way for venues to capitalize on that fact.
Walmart, last month, joined an international effort to provide standardized digital vaccination credentials to people. The company joins a push already backed by major health centers and tech companies including Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, Cerner, Epic Systems, the Mitre Corporation and the Mayo Clinic.
Some colleges and universities have also begun setting vaccine requirements for the next school year. Cornell University issued a statement on Friday saying that vaccinations would be required for in-person attendance in the fall, and Rutgers University in New Jersey said last week that all students would need to be fully vaccinated to be allowed to return to campus in the fall, baring religious or medical reasons.
Some venues and events in Florida had already made plans to require vaccinations. The Miami Heat basketball team said it would give prime seating to vaccinated fans. The South Beach Wine & Food Festival said it would require proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to attend. Nova Southeastern University said it would mandate vaccinations for all faculty and staff members as of Aug. 1 to participate in on-campus learning.
It was not immediately clear on Friday what those businesses would do in response to the governor’s order.
My guess is that, as with Georgia’s outrageous attempts to curtail voting rights, corporate interests will prevail here over the strange interests of Republican lawmakers.
And there’s a libertarian argument against DeSantis’s order. If I only want to associate with vaccinated people, what business is it of the state to tell me that I’m not allowed to do that?
So much for property rights.
Cruise lines are already requiring proof of vaccination and the airlines are getting closer to adopting a similar requirement. What would DeSantis think if a cruise operation decided move its boarding operations to Savannah or Mobile?
This isn’t a libertarian argument, that would include a balance of individual responsibility and individual freedom, this is simply emoting.
That’s the position this libertarian takes
Our state mask requirement is going to be relaxed in the not too distant future for counties with sufficiently low warning levels. My county won’t get that low anytime soon. I expect that we’re about three weeks away from the local restaurants having enough vaccinated staff that they’ll run one or two evenings a week as “mask free if you show your vaccination card.”
@Teve: Yes. I would understand the state refusing to require ‘passports’ or otherwise participate in the process. But banning businesses from setting their own rules?
@Sleeping Dog: Good point. Long before COVID, Disney was doing health screening, including temperature checks, before allowing anyone on their cruise ships. It’s tough, considering how far in advance one has to book a cruise plus the various costs of flying there, hotel lodging the night before (really early boarding) and the like but it was understandable.
The only “property rights” a modern Republican would care about were eliminated by the 13th Amendment.
As far as the conservative arguments supporting what DeSantis is doing there is clear hypocrisy on their part.
If you believe a business’s right to not design and bake a cake for a same-sex wedding,I don’t see how you can support what DeSantis did without being intellectually dishonest.
@Doug Mataconis: I don’t see that being intellectually dishonest has been an issue for Republicans for quite some time.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
That was the line that got me when I saw this yesterday in my local semi-pro newspaper. I don’t recall any right to flaunt public health measures in the Bill of Rights.
DeUseless will be OK with corporations ignoring this. He got his grandstanding headline and he’ll get more headlines if there’s opposition. And he figures Biden will push vaccines fast enough to make it a non-issue soon. He doesn’t care if his GOP base live or die, but he for damn sure want’s them fired up over “Freedumb!!” while they can still vote.
Republicans only support free association and property rights when they are used to exploit the out-group for the benefit of the in-group.
This clown thinks he’s going to catch the Mantle of Trump. He won’t. He probably could catch a Quarter Pounder in his mouth if you threw one at him though.
The underlying issue is: there will be some that cannot be vaccinated due to their true long-term-held religious beliefs or others with actual physical incompatibility (small children, immunocompromised, etc).
That is why the concept of broad vaccination is important. All others protect them through herd immunity. 50% won’t cut it.
So no. It would not “create” new classes. As to this specific issue (immunization) it would ACKNOWLEDGE THE REALITY of the two classes of citizens that already exists:
* Group one: reality based.
* Group two: morons.
The first group already does what it can to accommodate the second group. Much like having to walk around dog poop on the sidewalk, we have to tolerate the intentionally ignorant maskless.
Because they wish to choose to risk death does not mean that we have to join in their dance.
But now, a solution is here, available nearly everywhere, and takes only minutes. And the vaccinated will STILL be required to wear masks because of the idiocy of group two.
It is not segregation based on the majority excluding a minority… if is the choice of a self identified group that chooses their actions based on… well, fealty to an ex-president?
So Group 2 seems to be complaining that they are being picked on and identified as morons. Oh my. So sad.
If there were only something that they could do. Something that was available everywhere, and only took minutes.
(and no, the answer is not “storm the Capitol”)
“He doesn’t care if his GOP base live or die, but he for damn sure want’s them fired up over “Freedumb!!” while they can still vote.”
Exactly. We need a name for doing something which causes real world harm, but generates headlines and fires up the base. I propose Vice Signaling.
Well, as the vaccine does nothing other than make the vaccinated like a 20-something Spring Breaker, not likely to get seriously ill but still possibly spread the virus to others asymptomatically, it seems all premature. Yes, the CDC director tried to say there was immunity conferred, but that was withdrawn within 24 hrs as not scientifically proven.
Those who demand the right not to associate with those they don’t like, in this case the unvaccinated, might find themselves defined as racists since more blacks and other POC are hesitant to get the vaccine. Very crafty way for Democrats to reimpose segregation.
Now me, I’m likely to get the vaccine when it is less of a hassle and if they want to give me a little card to carry, I’ll put it in my wallet, but I don’t be using anything digital controlled by corporations hostile to individual liberties, even if under government contract.
The only (whiny) sort of argument I could see for this boils down to, “I let the oldsters get their shots first so they wouldn’t die. I didn’t let them go first so they could sit mask-free in the dining room at my favorite restaurant for months while my girlfriend and I waited for our shots.”
I doubt my state will produce passports. OTOH, I anticipate that within about three weeks there will be enough vaccinated customers and staff that some of the local restaurants will have a mask-free evening or two per week limited to people who can show a vaccine card. My wife and I will take advantage of those, even though I will feel a bit guilty about the youngsters who are still waiting for shots.
Unlike some people, I don’t anticipate a big market for fake vaccination cards, just a fair number of confrontations on cards-only occasions.
I like it. Or maybe Dumb Show.
We didn’t “let” them go first, they forced their way to the front of the line because they’re politically powerful and value their own boredom above the lives and safety of essential workers in younger generations.
Don’t forget the original plan was 1a: healthcare and LTC residents, 1b: frontline essential workers and people over 75, 1c: other essential workers, people over 65, people with health conditions
The boomers forced their way into 1a at the expense of all the essential workers. Thus my retired parents who could have easily JUST STAYED HOME have been vaccinated for a month, while I have to go to work in person every day and can’t even register for an appointment yet.
@Stormy Dragon: I don’t think that’s at all a fair characterization. The olds are at far more risk of death from the virus, so had to endure a substantially more rigorous form of lockdown to stay safe. Further, every day they’re locked down is a much larger chunk of their expected lifespan. It’s perfectly reasonable to put them ahead of pretty much everybody other than frontline healthcare workers.
You forgot the scare quotes on “arguments”. I have yet to hear any such “argument” that wouldn’t work equally well against the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” policies that have been normal forever. You don’t hear Republicans (or libertarians) screaming about those because they don’t inconvenience the wrong people.
I’m conflicted on this. So I’ve been trying to think about it 360 degrees and also by way of comparison. One might compare masks and vaccines.
Govt-imposed masks mandates strike me as necessary and just given that masks mostly offer protection to others, rather than to the self. (Note, I’m not saying masks convey no protection to the wearer, merely that the science is more settled about the former.)
When it comes to vaccines, this effect is largely reversed. That is, vaccines are more about protecting the self than others. (Note, I am well aware of herd immunity and do not discount it.)
In that case, I’m uncomfortable with govt-imposed vaccine passports. I’m more comfortable with private business-imposed passports, but this distinction (govt vs. private) isn’t as clean as people are making it out to be. (I’ve also noticed how quick people are to point the finger of hypocrisy to the “other side” without owning their own hypocrisy on these matters.)
To put it differently, there’s a distinction between public (masks) and private (vaccines) goods. (Note, this distinction is somewhat artificial, but it’s helpful in trying to think through these issues.)
I was initially gung-ho about vaccine passports, but have since become more ambivalent. One thing I’m struggling with is the equity issue, which others have noted (if not fully grappled with).
Another thing I’m struggling with is whether passports, as currently discussed, are the right/best incentive. There are many ways to shape behavior (recall your intro to psychology textbook and/or parenting experiences). Context matters. A lot.
In the current social/political context, I wonder if instead of incentivizing vaccination by shutting the unvaccinated out (note, these include many types of people), perhaps we might offer “perks” and/or “discounts” to people who are vaccinated.
I’m thinking out loud here (hence the rambling word vomit) and am not confident that any of the above is internally consistent and/or just. I put it out there to hopefully expand the discussion beyond the typical partisan political frame.
But I see the passport as doing just that: providing a “perk” to the vaccinated by allowing them to do things they’re currently prohibited from doing because of the pandemic. Ditto for the business owners: it allows them to go back to full capacity if they check passports to ensure they’re not spreading the virus.
@James Joyner: I suppose it depends on how we define perk. My implicit definition is more along the lines of discount cards, an extra 10% off for being a member, etc. In this sense, everyone can participate (ie, consume) but the “special people” get bennies.
In your model, a perk is more along the lines of a members only club. Members can participate, but non-members cannot. At least that’s my understanding…please correct me if I’ve got it wrong. That doesn’t strike me as a perk.
Private: No Shoes. No Shirt. No Vaccination. No Service.
Public: As a condition of permission to do XXX, you have to be vaccinated or shown to had Covid. This is, literally, no different, than having to have an ID to fly. Heck, I’ve traveled to countries, where I had to prove I’ve had certain vaccinations.
No ID, you can’t fly. No Vaccination, you can’t fly.
It’s not hard.
The hell it is if the reasoning is you put everyone else at risk just so you can have a more fulfilling experience on your own terms instead of reasonable restrictions. Telling someone to risk death so you don’t waste what’s left of your life being treated exactly like everyone is severe entitlement, @James. A year of an older person’s life is *not* more valuable than 30-70 years of someone else; all theses olds already got to do the things they’re telling the youth to put on hold so they can squeeze in a few more experiences before they cash out.
There’s real generational resentment out there and @Stormy’s merely pointing it out. If you’ve been busting your ass fetching orders for people so they can stay safe, only to constantly told you have to wait behind a Boomer who wants to go out brunching and sit in a church pew again you’re going to get pissed. Tell someone they’re not worth $15 AND not worth more than making a Boomer sit at home a few months as they push essential workers down the list? Insulting as hell.
Some harsh life facts: older people are more likely to die in a pandemic. In fact, it’s more natural to see the old perish from an unknown disease then the young. I cannot imagine being so selfish as to expect someone younger than me to constantly be unsafe so I’m more comfortable. I cannot imagine telling a teenager they can’t have prom or graduation, can’t experience dorm life and have to bust ass rushing around maskholes while Boomers get priority to go right back to enjoying retirement and public outings. Nevermind the fact that if we had vaxxed essential workers first we would likely have seen less spread and this might have ended a lot quicker but hey, Grandma’s tired of this Zoomie thing and demands to see the kids in person.
@EddieInCA: As I wrote: “I’m more comfortable with private business-imposed passports, but this distinction (govt vs. private) isn’t as clean as people are making it out to be.”
I suspect that, as a general matter, when it comes to the rights of “private” businesses, I am more comfortable with a libertarian starting assumption than many commenters around her. Perhaps even you, though I don’t know you enough to say. Regardless, it’s beside the point.
I think it’s much less cut and dry than your comment conveys. But as I said in my initial comment, I’m trying to think around this issue before settling on a firm opinion. Perhaps I’m being especially cautious, dim-witted, etc. about this……but I don’t think so.
In my initial comment, I noted several considerations that might be roughly lumped into economic and equity categories. Maybe it would be useful to focus the frame on just one. Let’s go with equity given that is something I recall being very important to you.
From an equity standpoint, we know that vaccine distribution is asymmetrical. Some social groups have better access than others. Moreover, for historical and other reasons, some social groups are more hesitant to get vaccinated than others.
In this sense, a vaccine passport (as currently discussed) strikes me as potentially disenfranchising certain social groups who already face widespread disenfranchisement. This is one source of my unease. I would love to be disabused of it. Please disabuse me. Seriously.
@James Joyner: “It’s perfectly reasonable…”
As someone who qualifies as at least old adjacent (69 in July), I disagree about the “perfectly reasonable” part–the other direction, going with the next level of “essential” in the workforce (which might well have still excluded Stormy Dragon) would have been just as reasonable; it simply didn’t win the contest. Still, these decisions evolve out of the social contract. There was some sort of consensus that this was the wisest and best use of a limited resource.
Can two competing points of view both be “perfectly reasonable”? I always thought so. Which isn’t to suggest that all points of view are “perfectly reasonable”.
@Just nutha ignint cracker:
For the record, I’m a phase 1c essential worker. To be honest, I probably could get into 1a on health conditions if I really wanted to, but I’m not line jumping the firefighters, grocery store workers, meat packers, etc. in 1b just because everyone else is.
Right now it looks like things are essentially going to skip directly from 1a to free-for-all, so all the 1b and 1c people are really getting screwed over.
Funny how all the “nightly applause for the essential workers” people disappeared the second there was something they could actually give up to help them.
There was a social consensus regarding the disbursement of a limited resource. Now that resources are more available, the disbursement broadens. Some of us are unhappy with how these decisions were reached, and are feeling our particular oxen gored.
Gee, sorry that life isn’t fair.
None of us in this group were asked (in any meaningful way) what the disbursement order should be. In our representative form of gummint, we have to trust our “betters” and we may not like their decisions, but we put them in charge.
In a perfect world, the Powers-That-Be would have been able to craft a solution that treated everyone equitably (not necessarily equally) and that everyone would be happy.
Sorry the world we live in isn’t perfect. News at 11.
I’m also a category essential worker. Spent the entire pandemic dealing with maskholes, suburban “elitists” and self-satisfied smirkers, in addition to all the poor schlubs also working for a living. I made it on the list last month because vaccine supplies have increased, and my age, not my health conditions or “essential” work. Yes the system isn’t perfect, but at least it’s a system, not the equivalent of food riots in the market.
Well, that’s not exactly true.
1) ID to fly – You don’t need one. You do, however, have to have an identity. I know this because I often travel and twice I left my wallet at home. When you fly so much that it becomes your regular commute, it can happen.
TSA takes you aside, they call a special call center, using data that is publicly available they quiz you. (where was your first home mortgage, what state did you get your first license? Etc.)
So No ID needed to fly.
2) Vaccines in other countries – Yes, you do get a vaccine card from the CDC when you get a shot. But it is not a special COVID-19 specific card. It’s just a vaccine card. My wife and I have one from Brazil that has two sides filled up. In short, I am ready for the post apocalyptic scene because we have shots for EVERYTHING! And we will likely write our Moderna numbers and dates on that card and put it aside, while we keep the CDC one easily available.
Still, If I am vaccinated, and can become a COVID-19 carrier and infect a hard red Trumpist… so sad, too bad. Woulda coulda shoulda.
And that explains why Mitch McConnell asked all republican men to get vaccinated. Because if they choose not to, then there will be a LOT less GOP voters in 2024.
3) finding ways to fly and avoid a vaccine – so I lost a day of my life due to not having a vaccine.
Here’s the story: Back in Brazil, I was running late for a flight, I did the airport dash to catch a flight to Panama. Ticket, passport, on the plane as the door was closing. Had the meeting, back to the airport… Ticket, passport, request for yellow fever certificate… wait, what? I needed that? Nobody in Brazil told me that… and I have been in this airport plenty of times!
Then the agent said: Were you flying TO Panama, or THROUGH Panama? I acknowledged: Through.
Well, for through, you don’t need one.
I thought, great, I’ll go get one, put me on a later flight. The attendant said no. WHY??!!?? Because you have to wait 7 days after to ensure you won’t have a reaction.
Well, it was Christmas week, and my wife was not with me, so a 7-day wait was out of the question.
The agent made a suggestion: Come back tomorrow… we fly you to San Jose Costa Rica.
Wait, WHAT? I want to go to Brazil!
You will… but first you fly to Costa Rica, and then you come back to Panama and then on to Brazil… because then you are flying THROUGH Panama.
Technically, yes. Lunch with friends in Costa Rica was nice.
Way ahead of you there. I’ve been using Vice Signaling for years. Not sure where I picked it up, but I want it to spread. Like butter or wildfire.
Performative Assholery also has a ring to it.
I thought we were suppose to follow the science. It is not medically demonstrated, yet, that the vaccinated cannot spread the virus. Those who have had and recovered from COVID-19 have more science evidence that they don’t spread the virus.
Time may come, but right now, all “vaccinated” means is reduced chance of getting symptomatic COVID-19. It gives an 80 yr old the same risk of an unvaccinated 30 yr old.
I’m not familiar with the science that shows this. Can you point me in the right direction?
@Mimai: if he can give you the relative rates of Long Covid in 30 year olds and 80 year olds I’d love to see that, but he can’t. He’s just going to talk about the fatality rate, which is dishonest.
@Teve: How long can Long Covid be in an 80 year old anyway?
@JKB: Actually, we have data. Part of the efficacy trials involved regularly testing people in the trial.
If we assume anyone who tests positive is infectious, and anyone who tests negative isn’t (a gross simplification, but good for back of the envelope calculations), the J&J cuts your risk of being contagious by about 75%. Moderna and Pfizer had efficacy trials before the variants came out, so I would be wary of using their 95% numbers, and just assume they are also around 75% (they are all priming the immune system on the same spike proteins, I believe).
So, the risk of a vaccinated person carrying and being contagious to an unvaccinated person is about 1/4th the risk that a similar lifestyle unvaccinated person would have.
Vaccinated to vaccinated about 1/16th.
The CDC is being cautious because the gross simplification could be quite wrong, which would affect vaccinated to unvaccinated transmission. But, best evidence so far is pretty good.
And vaccined people should continue to mask when with unvaccinated people.
@JKB: As someone who has observed your comments for years, I have to say: you are regressing.
@Gustopher: I know you just meant it as a joke, but just for those who are interested, an 80 year old man in the United States can expect to live 8.28 more years on average, and an 80-year-old woman in the United States can expect to live 9.68 more years on average.
@Gustopher: A+ for effort on trying to get the numbers through the disinformation. 😉
I don’t have the time or energy to refute all your points, but I ‘ll just take this one. Over the last 15 years, I’ve averaged over 95K miles per year on American and Delta. From 2009 to 2013, while shooting two series in South Florida while living in Los Angeles, I averaged over 150K miles per year.
Your fix for traveling without an ID only works is you’re a frequent flyer and if you’re at the right airport, with personnel willing to help you. If you don’t travel often, TSA doesn’t have the information on you, and, additionally, you have to PROVE who you are. If it were as easy as you claim, anyone could go online, find out publicly available information, and impersonate that person to fly. It’s not that easy. But I take your point. I have TSA PRE, Clear, Nexus, Sentri, Global Entry, and I have two passports. I have 9 different ID’s I can travel with. Most people have a driver’s license, and that’s it. If you don’t have that, try to fly. Go ahead. Yes, you can do it in some airports, during some times, but if you show up at LAX at 11pm for a redeye without ID, you’re not getting on that plane – no matter how many questions you can answer.
Dude, I am an AA Executive Platinum for the last 12 years Too bad you only average 95,000 miles a year. But ok. You bump up sometimes. Nice!
As far as “refuting” TSA policy, well, maybe attitude may have something to do with how TSA choose to deal with you?
For me, twice, it was easy-peasy.