NBC News medical analyst Dr. Vin Gupta claimed Monday that small and medium sized businesses in the U.S. cannot fully reopen without a system of “vaccine verification.” 

Gupta made the argument during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” saying that businesses should have the ability to refuse service to anyone who cannot show proof that they’ve been vaccinated.

Host Joe Scarborough began the discussion by asking Gupta how he advises people to stay safe as the CDC releases new guidance on what you can do once fully vaccinated and states reopen in various ways. 

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Gupta responded that he tells them to enjoy things they’ve been wanting to do, but to follow the proper mask guidance whenever they’re in a place where proper social distancing isn’t possible. He added that people can start to normalize their lives.

“Really to open up small and medium businesses, the question here is how do we do that? How do we remove some of these … burdensome mitigation initiatives that have been in place for 14 months? We can’t do that without some form of vaccine verification,” he continued.

“It’s impossible to continue to limit indoor capacity without having the ability to say, ‘you know what, you’re clear, no, you’re not clear because you haven’t gotten the vaccine.’ That is the quickest way to reopen and we should be doing that more broadly,” he said. “You’re going to see the airline industry, the restaurant industry, probably professional sports teams, move towards that path, and I think that’s a smart path.”

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Scarborough then asked Gupta at what point the country should fully reopen anyway, saying that some people just may choose not to have the vaccine and have to deal with the consequences. He added that people don’t go up and take cigarettes out of people’s mouths who are smoking, so America shouldn’t remain closed down on account of people who choose not to be vaccinated. 

Gupta responded that people shouldn’t get lured into a false sense of security by considering only 60% of the country being vaccinated acceptable, and that it could lead to a fourth wave of the coronavirus when the air turns dry and cold later in the year.

Scarborough reiterated that, given the number of people who have been vaccinated so far, businesses and schools should be able to open with people still following guidance on distancing and masks. He cited mental health and economic challenges as reason enough to reopen, and asked Gupta again at what point the country should reopen and just continue following guidelines while inside. 

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“The biggest issue, Joe, to normalcy, is the distancing issue,” Gupta answered. “How can we quickly off-ramp distancing measures? And the quickest way to do that is actually just to either mandate the proof of a vaccination or a negative test.”

“Restaurants that can verify one or the other, they can get to 100% capacity, Joe. That is the carrot here, and that’s what small businesses need. They cannot continue distancing. That, to me, is the policy here that’s killing small businesses. We need to get to 100% capacity for them to truly normalize the economy,” he concluded. 

Watch the full video here.

There are currently no guidelines in place for businesses that have reopened to handle patrons based on vaccination status. 

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Previous suggestions of “vaccine passports” were shut down in April when the Biden administration announced they would not be mandated, and that there would be no database to track who has been vaccinated. The state of New York did, however, create its own version of a vaccine passport called an “Excelsior Pass,” which New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D., heralded as “the next step in our thoughtful, science-based reopening.” 

Source Link:
https://www.foxnews.com/media/nbc-medical-analyst-vin-gupta-vaccine-verification-coronavirus-pandemic-reopening-joe-scarborough-small-businesses

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