A few days ago, Texas Congressman and long-time RedState friend Chip Roy gave a speech he opened with a joke. “I have some good news and some bad news,” he said. “The bad news is that President Biden and his administration and the Democrats are trying to institute a vaccine passport. The good news is that if they do so while you are here, since each and every one of you are freedom lovers, you’ll get stuck in Texas.”
The video is cued to the quote, but if you have time, I’d encourage you to listen to Representative Roy’s speech. There’s some good stuff in there.
What was curious was that this throw-away joke that wasn’t referred to again in the speech provoked one of the mediocrities at CNN to produce a “fact check” of Roy’s joke and proving that no way would the Biden bunch ever do such a thing.
But Roy’s comments implied that Biden was working on a way to limit someone’s ability to freely move around the US and CNN has seen no evidence to back up that assertion.
Vaccine passports and verification systems continue to be discussed as more companies require employees to get vaccinated, but there is no federally mandated vaccine passport plan that the White House and Congress are currently working to implement.
That struck me as a little overkill. Given the way the media will push back on any danger to Biden, it looked like the orders must have been issued from on high that it was time to “debunk” the vaccine passport story.
Relatedly, because social media is what it is, this led to a Twitter fight between Roy and noted lack-wit and Ed Buck BFF Ted Lieu, and to my colleague Jeff Charles writing, Chip Roy Should Be Arrested for Murdering Ted Lieu on Twitter During Vaccine Spat.
Then this morning, the Associated Press ran a fluff piece for the Biden White House that seems to be sending two messages. The first is that they are kind and compassionate and understanding of the reluctance of many Americans, me and my wife among them, to accept the Wuhan virus vaccine. The second is that there will be a point where they will bring down the hammer and require submission. The story is Biden eyes tougher vaccine rules without provoking backlash.
When the pace of vaccinations in the U.S. first began to slow, President Joe Biden backed incentives like million-dollar cash lotteries if that’s what it took to get shots in arms. But as new coronavirus infections soar, he’s testing a tougher approach.
In just the past two weeks, Biden has forced millions of federal workers to attest to their vaccination status or face onerous new requirements. He’s met with business leaders at the White House to press them to do the same.
But even as Biden becomes more aggressive, he has refrained from using all his powers to pressure Americans to get vaccinated. He’s held off, for instance, on proposals to require vaccinations for all air travelers or, for that matter, the federal workforce. The result is a precarious balancing act as Biden works to make life more uncomfortable for the unvaccinated without spurring a backlash in a deeply polarized country that would only undermine his public health goals.
Vaccine mandates are “the right lever at the right time,” said Ben Wakana, the deputy director of strategic communications and engagement for the White House COVID-19 response, noting the public’s increasing confidence in the vaccines and adding that it marks a new phase in the government’s campaign to encourage Americans to get shots.
Then we get to the veiled threat that reveals something like the vaccine passport is, in fact, under development.
Zients said the White House still has no plans to develop the infrastructure for so-called vaccine passports, despite some criticism from businesses that the patchwork of local and state verification systems leaves them without a clear way to enforce mandates. The Biden administration had promised to share frameworks for verification systems, but ultimately left them all to the private sector and local governments, in part because of political sensitivities.
Note what he says. The White House “has no plans to develop the infrastructure.” Not that one is not in the works by someone. Not that such a thing would be a major infringement on civil rights. Only that they have no plans to develop the infrastructure for such a system. Given how the White House works hand in glove with the big tech companies to prevent counter-narratives from developing, one would expect that Google would develop the architecture and the White House to direct everyone to use it.
Still, while more severe measures — such as mandating vaccines for interstate travel or changing how the federal government reimburses treatment for those who are unvaccinated and become ill with COVID-19 — have been discussed, the administration worried that they would be too polarizing for the moment.
Whoa. Requiring a vaccination to travel across state lines is a pretty significant item. To make this work, there would have to be a universally accepted proof of vaccination…we might call that a passport, no? There would, it seems to me, need to be checkpoints at state borders. There would have to be penalties for disobedience. It is hard to see how this could pass Constitutional muster, but given that we have at least one Supreme Court justice who reacts to violations of the Constitution by saying, “it’s going to end anyway, so meh,” that might not be a big barrier.
That’s not to say they won’t be implemented in the future, as public opinion continues to shift toward requiring vaccinations as a means to restore normalcy.
I’ve posted repeatedly on how this hysteria around the Wuhan virus is being used as a tool to set aside the Constitution and get Americans to voluntarily sign away their rights for some perceived protection from Daddy and Mommy Government. It is pretty clear that the Biden White House is working to develop measures that will make it practically impossible to function without having had the vaccine, and if history is any judge, its use won’t abate when this malarkey does.