Senator Joni Ernst says she largely agrees with Governor Kim Reynolds’ recent stance made against “vaccine passports.”
Though the White House has stated that the federal government shouldn’t be involved in verifying that people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, Republican lawmakers in some states are now proposing legislation to ban the so-called passports, including Reynolds who pledged last week to back legislation or use executive action to restrict their use.
Ernst tells KCII she considers these passports, which are typically in the form of a mobile app, a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), “I am against it, I think having the vaccination is a personal choice, but then for businesses or industry, the government to be able to take that information, perhaps use it against you. I don’t think that’s what we should be doing.”
The White House has stated that while Americans need a way to reliably demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated, the government shouldn’t be the one issuing such a certification, and that it should be free, private, and secure. In a news conference last week, Reynolds said she is still looking into the wording of a ban on vaccine passports, as to whether it would include the private sector.