Lead by former Republican Congressman Justin Amash, libertarians across the U.S. are in absolute freak-out mode over "vaccine passports," an initiative being created and worked on by 17 private companies – but not the federal government – as a way for businesses to protect themselves, their employees, and their customers by knowing who has been vaccinated against the deadly coronavirus that has killed more than 550,000 Americans.
While not a Biden administration initiative, the White House supports the poorly-named "passports" and is co-ordinating efforts to develop and roll them out.
The travel and tourism industry, and businesses like restaurants, concert facilities, and others where large numbers of people gather are anxious to re-open fully and safely, but proof of vaccination apparently is just too much for libertarians and many conservatives, including Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Jim Jordan, to handle.
Amash on Twitter is calling the idea of the passports "dystopian."
No vaccine passport. It doesn't get much more dystopian than being required to show your “health papers" wherever you go.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) March 30, 2021
To be clear, the federal government is not requiring anyone to be vaccinated, contrary to conspiracy theories circulating. Nor is it requiring the passports and it is not involved in maintaining the data.
"Vaccine passports are not a new idea," US News reports. "Frequent international travelers might be familiar with vaccine cards, which are typically a yellow paper showing a persons' vaccinations. Certain areas require proof of vaccination against illnesses like yellow fever or tuberculosis."
US News also notes that "Andy Slavitt, a senior adviser to the White House coronavirus team, said on Monday that it's not the role of the government to create such a passport or hold that kind of data on its citizens."
Amash and others, especially libertarian groups, are being mocked on social media for apparently not realizing that state and local governments in the U.S., and the federal government along with governments around the world for at least a century have required proof of vaccinations against many diseases.
Behold the dystopia, Justin. https://t.co/vFtuoHXeGd pic.twitter.com/ppdOjAwnXG
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) March 30, 2021
OMG the horror of decades-old public health regs https://t.co/lijb5CggVz pic.twitter.com/E2s0gKuCeG
— Prasad Jallepalli, MD, PhD (@jallepap) March 30, 2021
As it happens, vaccine passports are yellow. Anyone who travels regularly to “exotic" destinations is familiar with the requirement to demonstrate proof of vaccine for yellow fever or other diseases.
Libertarians spend a lot of energy to free themselves from world travel. pic.twitter.com/FS02d8nm1k — Karen Leavitt (@kleavitt) March 30, 2021
Have these people never attended a school? Ihad to get the MMR shot three times because mom lost my vaccination card, then I did (twice). Primary school Undergraduate Graduate Vaccine requirements aren't new.
— Yellowdog 4 H2O in GA (@TNYellowDog) March 30, 2021
Interesting that so-called libertarians focus exclusively on their individual "freedom" but never on the costs of the negative externalities of their "freedom." Whether it's seat belts, guns, masks, vaccines, a refusal to act in the common interest imposes significant costs 1/
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) March 30, 2021
Libertarians, 2021: "COVID Vaccine passports are tyranny! We have always stood for freedom!"
Libertarian Party, 1988: "Children with HIV should be banned from schools, doctors shouldn't have to treat them and companies should be allowed to test all employees." pic.twitter.com/s58iSvKk8W — Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) March 30, 2021
I also needed to be tested for tuberculosis, syphilis and gonorrhea, in addition to the vaccines.
— guan 🐰🐕🇪🇺 (@guan) March 30, 2021
[after a year of not seeing family and friends, staying home, watching people you care about die, massive unemployment, the economy devastated...]
Govt: Here's a piece of paper that will help prevent more suffering. Hold on to it. Libertarians: THIS IS DYSTOPIAN YOU FASCIST — Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 30, 2021
The GOP and Libertarians are quite hysterical over what they assert is a threat to civil liberties posed by #VaccinePassports, but not upset by the very real threat to civil liberties posed by #VoterSuppression laws.
Make it make sense. — Victoria Brownworth #GetVaccinatedStayMasked (@VABVOX) March 30, 2021
Libertarians are wholly incapable of putting anything in proportion, conferring upon even the most reasonable public safety measures the label of fascism/Naziism. Unsurprisingly, they also tend to be upper middle class white dudes who've encountered few serious obstacles in life. https://t.co/XfBWxCVoHY
— The Cascadian Pragmatist (@PNWPragmatist) March 30, 2021
These clowns can't even get their own abuse of analogies right. If the vaccinated folks are the ones wearing the stars, then who are the KY libertarians in this story? https://t.co/fkUUnw5caM
— Sheer Ganor (@sheerganor) March 30, 2021