NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee spoke out against Covid-19 passports on Tuesday saying vaccinations are a personal choice.
“I oppose vaccine passports. The Covid-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement,” he said on social media. “I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans’s health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal choice.”
The debate over vaccine passports has been a contentious one around the world. Some say it would allow travel and big events to reopen around the world, while others see it as governmental overreach.
Lawmakers from states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arkansas, Montana and Georgia have already stated opposition to vaccine passports.
Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSentis of Florida have also issued executive orders banning state and local governments from mandating the practice. DeSantis said the passports would “reduce individual freedom and will harm patient privacy.”
In the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told reporters this week that the government would be testing out a passport system as one of the ways to safely reopen travel and host large events. Japan, China, the European Union and other nations overseas have already begun launching their own digitial health certificates to residents in the hopes of opening up international travel.
As for the United States, the Biden administration said a few days ago it will not federally mandate passports, but suggested the private sector could take the lead. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said they are reveiewing the issue and would be issuing recommendations soon.
On Tuesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci reiterated the government’s stance, saying they would not mandate them.