The federal government won’t require passports, though the door is still open for local governments.
Last month, the European Union presented the idea of “vaccine passports,” special credentials that could be issued to citizens that have been completely vaccinated for COVID-19 that would allow them to freely travel over state and country lines, barring local quarantine requirements. The United States government has begun mulling over the idea as well, as it could help speed up the process of reopening both local and international travel, but the notion has been met with firm pushback from multiple senators and government officials, as well as US citizens.
Today, chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, offered his take on the prospect of vaccine passports. During an interview with Politico Dispatch, Dr. Fauci said that as far as his knowledge and authority goes, the federal government will not be utilizing vaccine passports.
“I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept,” he said. “They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is going to be the leading element of that.”
However, even if the United States government at large doesn’t run with the concept, that doesn’t mean local governments and institutions will do the same. Dr. Fauci explained that it is possible that certain businesses or public institutions like schools would require vaccine passports in order to enter their premises.
“I’m not saying that they should or that they would, but I’m saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, ‘well, we can’t be dealing with you unless we know you’re vaccinated,’ but it’s not going to be mandated from the federal government,” Fauci explained.