During a press briefing yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took the next step towards making vaccine passports mandatory for the citizens of his state by urging private businesses to adopt “vaccine-only admission” policies and allow entry only to customers who verify their vaccination status.
Back in March, I wrote an article documenting the arrival of government-mandated COVID vaccine passport programs and Andrew Cuomo’s plan to introduce them to New Yorkers on a “voluntary” basis.
Cuomo launched his COVID vaccine passport plans in a trial program that was tested in New York City at Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in order for fans to attend sporting events using a smartphone app or a printed QR code that verified either that they’d been vaccinated or had tested negative for the coronavirus within the previous 72 hours.
Based on this “success,” the New York governor launched the nation’s first “voluntary” COVID vaccine passport program dubbed the “Excelsior Pass,” an app that will allow New Yorkers to prove their vaccination status, or recent history of a negative COVID-19 test, in order to gain entry to events and businesses.
“Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app.
“Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.”
“Secure and confidential?” When it comes to tyrannical government, protecting privacy is never the prime directive.
Just like the post-9/11 PATRIOT Act, COVID vaccine passports will be designed to make the names, phone numbers, and locations of people easily available to anyone who needs it in real-time — a point succinctly made by Justin Amash at the time:
Ironically, Cuomo admitted that privacy was secondary to the desires of the state with his announcement because he’s advocating that people who wish to patronize a business reveal personal medical information to people with no interest or ability to keep that information private.
Privacy issues aside, Cuomo’s announcement yesterday is a clear step towards mandatory vaccine passports (via National Review):
“Private businesses, I am asking them and suggesting to them: Go to vaccine-only admission. Go to vaccine-only admission. We did this, Radio City Music Hall, months ago. Reopened vaccine-only, sold out all the shows. Sports arenas. They went up to about 90 percent vaccine-only. Private businesses, bars, restaurants. Go to a vaccine-only admission. I believe it’s in your best business interest,” Cuomo said.
Since persuasion and encouragement has still not swayed a percentage of the state’s population to get the shot, Cuomo is now advocating for soft coercion, suggesting that private enterprises withhold goods and services to those who have abstained.
“If you say to people, ‘Well, if you don’t have a vaccine, you can’t get into these establishments,’ then you will see a real incentive to get vaccinated,” he said.
Cuomo acknowledged that a mask policy is important but doesn’t go far enough to combat the still ongoing pandemic, stating that a “vaccination policy” is the next step.
“What does that mean? Well, we’ve taken the first step [as a state] … which is you either have to get a vaccine or a weekly test. That’s the first step, but it’s only the first. And that I believe we need to expand,” Cuomo said, referencing his last order requiring all state employees to get vaccinated by a Labor Day deadline. (emphasis mine)
What will Cuomo’s “vaccination policy” look like? In addition to vaccine passports, it will most likely be something along the lines of what we’re seeing pushed on the national level: government-mandated vaccinations . . . or else.
I wrote a few days ago about a growing movement — supported by conservatives, unfortunately — to withhold Medicare, Social Security, and other benefits and “make it almost impossible for people to live their lives” if they refuse the COVID vaccination.
For those with eyes to see, it’s easy to see where this is leading; not only in New York, but nationwide once, as Reason.com points out, Washington takes vaccine passports national.
“The Biden administration and private companies are working to develop a standard way of handling credentials — often referred to as ‘vaccine passports’ — that would allow Americans to prove they have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus as businesses try to reopen,” The Washington Post reported. (emphasis mine)
And just like Cuomo’s vaccine passport program, government and others will have access to private information.
“If you have your health records attached to something you have to carry that has to be verified, you have created an opening into the most private data you have,” Member of Parliament David Davis last week cautioned fellow British lawmakers considering vaccine passport requirements. “It is straight away a problem and it will grow because, inevitably, once we have the mechanism, it is common sense that people will try to use it for other uses and it will grow and grow.”
That’s the next concern. Having already expanded beyond air travel to encompass access to sports and concert arenas, it’s easy to see COVID-19 being only the first entry in credentials designed to be scalable. They can all be easily tweaked to record conformity with any imaginable public health requirement.
A year-plus into the COVID-19 pandemic, health passports are far too late to mitigate the damage done by lockdowns, surveillance, and travel restrictions. Even so, they’re almost guaranteed to be a part of the world to come. (emphasis mine)
Cuomo’s COVID vaccine passports are a direct threat to liberty. And when they become mandatory on a national level — as they most certainly will — government will be able to track our every move. In the end, COVID vaccine passports will create a two-tiered society where unvaccinated people won’t be able to travel, shop, or get a job.
Unable to buy or sell. That sounds familiar for some reason (Rev. 13:17).
For those who consider the Bible reference as evidence of me being theologically unsound or a conspiracy theorist, I have another little tidbit for you to chew on; using a “mark” as proof of being vaccinated has literally already been worked on.
Thanks to funding provided by the false prophet of coronavirus, Bill Gates, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has developed a system to track the vaccination records of children by embedding the information directly to their skin in the form of a tattoo with the ultimate goal of using sensors injected into the body.
Putting aside theology and conspiracy theories for a moment, Andrew Cuomo has clearly taken the next step towards vaccine passports, and that’s bad news for liberty.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable for their failure to uphold conservative values, and he promotes those values instead of political parties.