COVID Vaccine ‘Passport’ Ban Clears House – CBS Miami

TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami / NSF) – With a key lawmaker recognizing that vaccine hesitation is “real and understandable,” Florida House on Wednesday approved a measure restricting local emergency orders and the standing order from Governor Ron DeSantis to do so Exclusion from COVID would be enacted -19 vaccine “passports”.

The House voted 76-40 to approve the proposal (SB 2006), which, according to Tom Leek, Chairman of the Pandemics & Public Emergency Emergency Committee, R-Ormond Beach, Florida, prepare for the next public health emergency and at the same time to create a “delicate balance between protecting people” and protecting people’s civil liberties. “

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“By a miracle of science we have vaccines that work. We also need to realize that COVID-19 vaccines do not have the same proven history as the same vaccines our school children need, ”Leek said. “We need to recognize that hesitation about vaccines is real and understandable. Do not get me wrong. For all of you in this room, for all of you out there listening, get vaccinated. Please get vaccinated. Let’s go back to normal. But acknowledge that it is fair for a certain part of our community to be reluctant to get the vaccine. “

Democrats countered that the move would delay Florida’s ability to return to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 passports can be used to prove that people have been vaccinated before entering places such as businesses or schools.

“I don’t know many people who will go on a cruise unless they can be sure that the other people on that cruise with them in this close proximity have also been vaccinated,” said Rep Omari Hardy, D-West Palm Beach said.

“If you care about our business world, as some elected officials in this state say,” Hardy continued, “if you want to keep Florida open and make sure we don’t lose jobs due to the pandemic, why?” You prevent people from issuing guidelines that give their customers the peace of mind that they can step into a company and that they are safe? “

The Senate passed the bill last week, but the measure has to be returned to the Senate due to changes made by Parliament.

DeSantis issued the COVID-19 passport suspension order on April 2, which would create “big” privacy issues that could result in people sharing medical information with a “big company”.

“It is not entirely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to require you to provide evidence of vaccines to simply participate in ordinary society,” DeSantis said before signing the mandate. “If you want to go to the cinema, should you have to show that? No. If you want to go to a game, no. If you want to go to a theme park, no. … I think it’s something that people have certain freedoms and individual freedoms to make decisions for themselves. “

Hardy claimed the bill “hindered” local governments rather than holding the governor and other people accountable for using the powers available to keep people safe.

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The bill would prohibit businesses, schools and government agencies from requiring customers to provide documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccinations or recovery from infection.

Rep. Michael Grieco, D-Miami Beach, said the bill was directed against Vaxxers and conspiracy theorists.

“The irony is that this bill would give rights to people who haven’t been vaccinated, but it doesn’t protect me,” Grieco said.

Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Lithia, said people who are vaccinated shouldn’t worry about what others are doing.

“If you took the vaccine the vaccine works and you go to the restaurant, you go to the bar, you go to the store, you go to the sporting event and you go in there and someone else didn’t take the vaccine, why cares it you? “Asked Beltran.” And if the vaccine doesn’t work, in other words, you are afraid that you will still get it even though you have been vaccinated, and you are afraid that you will really get sick, then why? Are you trying other people force to take a vaccine? “

In addition to excluding COVID-19 passports, the measure would require local emergency orders to be tightly tailored and extended in seven-day increments for a total of 42 days. At present, such orders can initially be placed for seven days and then extended indefinitely in seven-day steps.

The bill would give the governor the power to override local ordinances if they are determined to “unnecessarily restrict individual rights or freedoms”.

Among other things, government agencies would need to develop public health contingency plans by the end of 2022, and the emergency management department would need to store personal protective equipment.

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(© 2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. Do not publish, broadcast, rewrite, or redistribute this material. Jim Turner, Florida News Service contributed to this report.)

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