Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, took questions on Monday about a plan for “vaccine passports,” a new certification that companies and the government might use to monitor people’s vaccine status that was floated over the weekend.
Businesses could also use this credential to invite vaccinated people to activities and locations where non-vaccinated people would be turned away.
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Psaki was questioned about the White House’s official stance on vaccine passports. Psaki said the federal government would “provide guidelines” to those who do not want to get the vaccine and whether they should be allowed to travel about freely.
“The private sector will be in charge of determining or developing a vaccine passport, or whatever you want to call it. Ours will be more concerned with providing guidelines that can be used as a starting point “she said
“We are operating on the basis of a few main values. One is that there will be no centralized federal vaccination database, nor will there be any federal requirement for everybody to receive a single vaccination certificate.”
“Second, we want to foster an open marketplace where a range of private-sector companies and non-profit coalitions can create solutions.”
“Fourth, we want to direct the market toward public-interest targets. As a result, we’ll pool our resources to ensure that all vaccine credentialing programs meet those requirements.”
“Whether it’s universal accessibility, affordability, or availability, both digitally and on paper, these are all important considerations. But those are our criteria. It’s currently undergoing an interagency process; we’ll make some suggestions, and then we expect the private sector to take the lead.”
There are no further specifics about where the line will be drawn between letting the market handle solutions and the government taking a stance to protect individual rights and liberty to move openly in society without requiring detailed documentation that documents a person’s vaccination status.
Psaki concluded by saying, “There is no timetable” for any of the above, as is now standard practice for all dealings with the White House.