Senate

Rick Scott introduces bill banning ‘vaccine passports’ for domestic flights

Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) on Tuesday introduced a bill banning proof of vaccinations for domestic travel.

The measure — called the Freedom to Fly Act — prohibits the Transportation Security Administration from implementing policies that would allow employees to request information regarding vaccinations from any passenger traveling in the U.S.

Scott said in a statement that travel is “critical to getting our economy fully re-opened” as the nation recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While I continue to encourage everyone who wants one to get the vaccine, the federal government has no business requiring travelers to turn over their personal medical information to catch a flight,” Scott said. “My Freedom to Fly Act ensures families in Florida and across the country can travel freely and without the ridiculous government bureaucracy created by vaccine passports.”

The move comes amid a heated debate surrounding vaccine passports and requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as the nation returns to normal.

Republicans have argued that requiring such proof interferes with an individual’s personal choice on whether to get inoculated.

The White House has repeatedly said that there are no plans to issue a federal vaccine passport.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) was the first governor to sign an executive order banning vaccine passports in early April.

Other GOP-led states, including Texas, Alaska, Georgia, Arizona, Wyoming and, most recently, Alabama have also passed similar measures.

Last week, GOP Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Braun (Ind.) and Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.) introduced a bill banning the federal government from establishing vaccine passports, or working with third parties like airlines or other global entities to create them. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 62.9 percent of adults age 18 and over have had at least one dose of a vaccine, and 51.9 percent have been fully inoculated.

Tags CDC Coronavirus COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccine Cynthia Lummis Mike Braun Rick Scott Ron DeSantis Ted Cruz vaccine passport

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