VACCINE PASSPORT

THE ISSUE: Governor issues order prohibiting businesses from requiring proof of vaccination.

OUR OPINION: Businesses should be able to decide how to ensure safety for their customers without government intervention.

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It appears Gov. Ron DeSantis subscribes to Republican principles against government overreach only when it benefits his own political agenda.

The governor recently issued an order prohibiting Florida businesses from requiring customers to show proof of being vaccinated against COVID-19. DeSantis’ action comes as some events and businesses incorporate vaccine status into their COVID-19 safety protocols.

This is just another political posturing move by a governor who seems more interested in getting headlines than in dealing with issues. It has yet to be determined whether DeSantis even has the authority to enforce such a ban.

The ban is counter to Gov. DeSantis’ emphasis on individual liberty, because it infringes on the individual liberty of business owners to decide how to best operate in the interest of their clients. DeSantis is being hypocritical by calling out those business owners who believe a vaccine passport is necessary for the health and welfare of their clients, when, in fact, his ban on passports is an intrusive overreach of state government. If President Biden would issue such a ban, DeSantis and the “defenders of liberty” would be the first to decry it.

Businesses should be able to determine how to ensure the safety of their clients, not the state. DeSantis’ mandate will make it harder for private businesses to guarantee a safe environment for their customers.

This also calls into question the fact that showing proof of vaccinations already exists in Florida. You can’t attend a state university without showing proof of certain vaccinations. You can’t fly out of Florida to certain countries without showing proof of being vaccinated against certain diseases.

After DeSantis recently announced he is suing the Biden administration over the shutdown of the cruise industry, he tweeted on April 8, “This lawsuit is necessary to protect Floridians from the federal government’s overreach and resulting economic harm to our state.”

DeSantis decries the federal government safety measures that shut down the cruise industry as overreach, but he wants to force private businesses to conform to his state-mandated edict. That sounds like the overreach the governor opposes.

At the end of the day, it should be up to the business whom they allow in and who they don’t. No shirts, no shoes, no vaccine passport, no service.