04/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/01/2021 14:39
HARRISBURG - Senators Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28), Michele Brooks (R-50) and Judy Ward (R-30) plan to introduce legislation that would prohibit Governor Wolf from implementing vaccine passports for residents in Pennsylvania.
New York state recently launched their own vaccine passport program, dubbed 'Excelsior Pass.'
Citing how closely Governor Wolf has followed Governor Cuomo when it comes to executive branch's unilateral response to the pandemic, the senators said a vaccine passport is a bridge too far.
'We are still playing catch up with many states when it comes to getting COVID-19 vaccines into arms. Whether a Pennsylvanian chooses to not receive the vaccine for personal, health or religious reasons, or simply cannot obtain a vaccine because of lack of access, there is no way any government should be asking its own citizens to reveal personal health information,' Phillips-Hill said.
'There are many reasons why someone may choose not to get vaccinated,' Brooks said. 'For the government to use vaccination status as a method of denying access to people, places and opportunities infringes upon the rights and freedoms we are blessed to have as Americans.'
'While I firmly believe everyone who wants a vaccine should have the opportunity to receive one, those who do not want to be vaccinated or those who are unable to get one should not face discrimination,' Ward said. 'Far too often during this pandemic have Pennsylvanians been subject to intrusive monitoring of their health and overt invasions of their privacy at the hands of government. We must take a stand to protect our Constitutional rights and health privacy.'
In their memo seeking support for their forthcoming proposal, the senators said that requiring a vaccine passport for Pennsylvanians to live their lives day-to-day represents an extreme government intrusion into people's personal lives.
The memorandum the senators sent around to their colleagues seeking to prohibit the requirement of vaccine passports can be found here.