Tuesday, April 06, 2021

You Can Travel With AIDS, Hepatitis, And Tuberculosis - But Not Without An mRNA Jab!!!

thehill |   Republicans are seizing on the intensifying debate over coronavirus vaccination passports as part of their strategy for recapturing control of Congress in 2022.

In interviews and conversations with The Hill, GOP strategists and operatives acknowledged the growing eagerness among Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19. But many are also betting that emerging debates about so-called vaccine passports will help them play on voters’ fears of government overreach and privacy violations.

The idea of vaccine passports has gained increasing attention in recent weeks as eligibility for COVID-19 vaccinations has rapidly expanded and Americans begin to see glints of a post-pandemic normal on the horizon. The White House has indicated that it will issue basic guidelines for such programs, though it has also said that it has no plans to create a centralized, federal requirement.

Still, some of the country’s most prominent conservatives have begun to latch on to the emerging possibility of vaccine passports or certificates, seeing such proposals as an extension of their campaign to rally the GOP base in opposition to coronavirus-related restrictions like lockdown orders and mask mandates.

“It’s a political winner,” Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist, said. “They look at it as an all-out assault on personal freedoms and the Constitution, but also, it’s about protecting the average, ordinary Floridian who wants to live their regular day-to-day lives.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is among the Republicans who have come out early against the proposals. He criticized the idea of vaccine passports at a press conference Monday, calling it “unacceptable” for local governments or businesses to require proof of vaccination for people to “participate in normal society.”

On Friday, he signed an executive order banning any future vaccine certificate requirements in Florida, and called on the GOP-controlled state legislature to draft a bill to enshrine such a policy into law.

Republicans are hoping that their early efforts to define vaccine passports as a symbol of government overreach will help counter what Democrats see as their most powerful political weapon in the 2022 midterms: their efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting economic crisis.

Democrats are hoping that a massive $1.9 trillion stimulus package signed into law last month, along with a sweeping proposal to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure, will help them stave off the typical electoral shellacking that a new president’s party typically sees in the first midterms following his inauguration.