Governor Brad Little must have been listening to your views on KIDO Talk Radio. The governor spoke out and signed an executive order Wednesday that would ban vaccine passports.

The governor's action would prohibit any state governmental office or entity from mandating the passport. Governor Little's move follows the move by other governors across the country. Governor Ron DeSantis made headlines a few weeks ago by banning the vaccine passports in Florida. The move means that you don't have to have proof of getting the shot to get state services.

Governor Little made his case in a statewide announcement. "Idahoans should be given the choice to receive the vaccine. We should not violate Idahoans' personal freedoms by requiring them to receive it," Governor Little said. "Vaccine passports create different classes of citizens. Vaccine passports restrict the free flow of commerce during a time when life and the economy are returning to normal. Vaccine passports threaten individual freedom and patient privacy."

The issue of whether a state requires a passport seems to break along party lines. The governor's office stated that the State of New York is promoting a software program that will facilitate the exclusion of Americans who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine from receiving services and fully participating in public life, the governor's executive order states. In contrast, 'red state governors' have banned passports.

Governor Little continued to share his concerns about a state-mandated vaccine. However, this order applies only to government agencies. Published reports have indicated that a variety of private businesses, such as airlines, are considering the possibility of mandating a vaccine passport for services. The governor continued to make his case for Idahoans to get the shot.
"I have serious concerns that implementing COVID-19 vaccine passports will violate Idahoans' medical privacy rights, prejudice those unable to receive the vaccine, slow our economic recovery, cause division among our populace, and, ultimately, be counterproductive to the widespread administration of the COVID-19 vaccines among Idahoans," Governor Little said.

Could we see the Idaho Legislature take a look at this issue? The legislature is back in session, so we will continue to update this issue has it develops.

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