Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts said Wednesday that the state will not participate in any “vaccine passport program.”
“This concept violates two central tenets of the American system: freedom of movement and health care privacy,” the governor said. “Nebraska will take any necessary action to protect the private health information of our citizens and the freedoms we cherish.”
White House officials said this week that the push for vaccine passports should come from the private sector and that the federal government won’t take the lead in creating a centralized document proving vaccination.
“We do know that there is a segment of the population that is concerned that the government will play too heavy-handed of a role in monitoring their vaccinations,” White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said Monday. He said officials are worried that “it would discourage people” from getting vaccinated if the federal government was involved.
The news came after the Washington Post reported last week said President Joe Biden was pushing for development of a vaccine passport that would provide proof that people were vaccinated against COVID-19.
Vaccine passports that provide proof of immunity to the coronavirus are supported by the travel industry and other businesses that have suffered from concerns about the risk of contagion in public places.
At least two other Republican governors have objected to the vaccine passports.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he would issue an executive order forbidding local governments and businesses from requiring vaccine passports to show proof that customers have been inoculated against the coronavirus.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said in a tweet this week: “The @joebiden #CovidPassport is one of the most un-American ideas in our nation’s history. We as Americans should oppose this oppression.”
This report includes material from the Associated Press and Bloomberg News.