COVID passports – we’ve been hearing the term kicked about for months, but they’re finally, officially here. Well, we knew it was coming; we just didn’t know when. Residents of New York can download a mobile app to store and share their digital records of coronavirus vaccination and testing. This “Excelsior Pass,” as it has been cleverly branded, will be required in order to attend any event – weddings, games, concerts, etc. – where there are more people than allowed under the social gathering limit. Folks can finally get back to some form of normalcy, and that’s great … until we consider what it means to require an allegedly free people to show some form of passport to just go about life as usual.Excelsior!
Taking a Bite Out of the Big Apple
Aside from California, no state has been hit as hard by COVID-19 as New York – and right out of the gate, at that. The Golden State has taken a bit of a lead, but the Empire State led the nation for most of the pandemic, thanks in no small part to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s disastrous nursing home policies – which he still, to this day, blames on former President Trump. As Liberty Nation’s Pennel Bird put it, “Try as he might, Cuomo cannot brush away the fire ants of this scandal,” or, for that matter, the variety of other political catastrophes plaguing the once-popular Democrat.
But in the latest attempt to appear to be part of the solution rather than the problem – all while tightening his grip on the lives of New Yorkers – the governor spun this police state metaphor turned reality as “another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure.” See? Part of the solution – and never once did he utter the words: “Where are your papers, comrade?” Doesn’t that just make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?
Before entering a venue that requires the Excelsior Pass, folks will also have to show a photo ID that includes name and birth date – but not in the racist way, like if they had to show it to vote or receive government benefits. Show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test, and you’re in. It’s just that simple. No matter that the tests have proven unreliable at best and that many researchers claim – or, at least, claimed – the vaccines don’t stop the transmission of COVID. Sure, folks are saying now that it almost certainly does, but it’s hard to take that seriously when there’s no quantifiable measurement given.
“I think we have enough evidence right now to say that these vaccines cut transmission, that vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit the disease,” explained Ashish Jha, dean of the public health school at Brown University. “How much? We don’t know.” His estimate – that is, his guess – is 80%, but there seems to be about as much evidence to back that up as any other guess pulled from the ether.
How Far Down This Rabbit Hole?
It’s all well and good for those who want to take the jab and trade privacy and liberty for entertainment’s sake; what happens when it’s no longer about luxury and leisure? Many airlines – especially the international ones – are seriously considering this requirement. What about when it spreads to buses and taxis in the Big Apple and other major, left-leaning cities run by statist Democrats?
How far down this rabbit hole will we go? Is it conceivable that, soon, even folks in rural areas will need some kind of COVID passport to board a plane, bus, or train, or to enter a public building in town? Will we have actual traffic checkpoints along the roads, where folks will be required to show their health certificates or be barred from crossing into city limits? Slippery slope? That’s what we thought – or hoped – when this was first floated months ago.
Read more from James Fite.