Dr Anthony Fauci has indicated that the United States federal government has no intentions to require Covid-19 vaccine passport for Americans.
The infectious disease expert, who was a leading Covid-19 advisor to President Joe Biden, told the Politico Dispatch podcast on Monday that businesses and educational institutions could likely enforce people to be vaccinated.
"I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept," he said. "They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is gonna be the leading element of that."
Instead, Dr Fauci thought an "individual entity," such as universities, could require people to receive Covid-19 vaccines prior to returning.
"I'm not saying that they should or that they would, but I'm saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, 'Well, we can't be dealing with you unless we know you're vaccinated,'" Dr Fauci said. "But it's not going to be mandated from the federal government."
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His statement coincided with what White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said regarding vaccine passports during a press briefing last week. She said the Biden administration would not enforce a "federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."
A national debate has launched on if it should be required for people to receive a Covid-19 vaccine in order to travel, work at specific businesses, or attend schools.
Vaccine passports would provide proof of vaccinations, which could be helpful to countries as they work to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic. But US officials, specifically Republican lawmakers, have spoken out against the passport.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed an executive order on Friday that would ban government entities from requiring vaccinations for employees. The executive order also prohibited businesses from requiring proof of vaccinations for customers.
New York, in comparison, became the first state to unveil a digital passport, called an Excelsior Pass, that showed someone received a Covid-19 vaccine.
"As more New Yorkers get vaccinated each day and as key public health metrics continue to regularly reach their lowest rates in months, the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Pass heralds the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening," Governor Andrew Cuomo said about the passport.
Countries around the world have also indicated they were considering vaccine passports for travellers.
The European Union unveiled plans for a vaccination passport in March that would allow travellers to cross borders without needing to follow coronavirus quarantine guidelines. United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson also indicated the government would test out a "vaccine passport" system to assist with travel and large events.
In the United States, though, the suggestion of a vaccine passport has remained contentious and divided among party lines.
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