Here’s a letter to the Washington Post:
Leana Wen’s defense of vaccine passports is propaganda that would bring glee to Goebbels (“Stop calling them ‘vaccine passports’ ,” April 10).
After assuring us that “almost no one is proposing this [Israeli “Green Pass”] kind of national ID for coronavirus vaccination in the United States,” she writes “Many public and private institutions already ask people to complete a pre-arrival questionnaire that screens for symptoms of covid-19. Some venues check temperatures or even administer a rapid coronavirus test before entry. Requesting proof of vaccination would be another such health screen. If questionnaires or tests aren’t seen as constraints on individual liberties, showing vaccine status should not be, either.”
Of course differences separate some details of the Israeli vaccine-passport system from what is proposed for, and might be implemented in, the U.S. But the bottom line, as Dr. Wen herself lets slip, is that proof of vaccination to enter the likes of restaurants, gyms, stadiums, and courthouses is a real likelihood. And her use of the word “requesting” is Orwellian, as obviously under such a regime all who turn down such ‘requests’ will be denied access.
That we Americans were indeed willing (too willing, in my view) to tolerate temporarily under Covid the likes of temperature scans and questionnaires hardly implies what Dr. Wen takes it to imply – namely, that a permanent regime of vaccine passports is an innocuous extension of these temporary intrusions and, thus, would not dramatically and tyrannically constrain individual liberties in ways that have never before been imposed wholesale on the entire American population.
Donald J. Boudreaux
Professor of Economics
Martha and Nelson Getchell Chair for the Study of Free Market Capitalism at the Mercatus Center
George Mason University
Fairfax, VA 22030