Dr Drew faces backlash after denouncing vaccination passports
Dr Drew faces backlash after denouncing vaccination passports

Dr Drew faces backlash after claiming vaccine passports will ‘strip’ people of ‘freedom to travel internationally’

‘I’m guessing you don’t travel abroad much?’ one person responded

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 06 April 2021 18:17

Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky is facing backlash after he denounced vaccine passports on Twitter on the basis that the safety measure would “segregate people and strip them of their freedom to travel internationally”.

On Monday, the doctor and media personality, who is best-known as Dr Drew, tweeted: “These vaccine passports segregate people and strip them of their freedom to travel internationally. 

Vaccinations are important, and I encourage everyone to get the Covid vaccine, but how would you feel if international travel also required other vaccinations?”

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, vaccine passports have been suggested by experts and the White House as a potential way forward so that vaccinated individuals can resume travelling and other day-to-day activities.

However, as noted by numerous people on social media, some countries have required certain vaccinations before international travel for decades, with the US Department of Health and Human Services noting that “some countries require proof of vaccination for certain diseases, like yellow fever or polio” and that your health may also require you to receive additional vaccines before travelling.

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“Many countries already require proof of other vaccinations and it’s embarrassing that you don’t know that but would choose to speak on this topic,” one person responded.

Another tweeted: “Stop causing problems where none exist. Vaccines have been required for travel all over the globe for decades.”

“So that ‘Dr’ before your name is completely ceremonial, right? Because I refuse to believe that an actual medical doctor doesn’t know about required vaccinations for international travel,” someone else wrote.

Despite the countless comments pointing out his error, Pinsky attempted to double-down on his initial suggestion in a follow-up tweet on Tuesday, in which he claimed that vaccine passports are about “creating an ‘out group’”.

“This is about vaccine passports creating an ‘out group,’ not whether or not other countries require vaccines,” he wrote. “So the question was how do we feel about other countries mandating paperwork for any condition.”

He concluded the tweet encouraging his more than 2.7m followers to “respond thoughtfully” and to “please sharpen [their] reading skills” and “stop projecting”.

However, in a tweet posted Monday, the internist and addiction specialist did state: “I’ll make this very simple, get vaccinated.”

This is not the first time that Dr Drew has faced criticism amid the pandemic, as he previously found himself the subject of controversy in March 2020 when he referred to the virus as a “press-induced panic”.

He later issued an apology for his comments, in which he said that he wished he had “gotten it right, but I got it wrong”.

While the US does not currently require vaccination passports, other countries, including Israel, have begun implementing the safety measure for individuals to access facilities such as the gym or hotels.

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