Ohio GOP lawmakers plan to introduce legislation that would prohibit mandated “vaccine passports.” The term “vaccine passport” refers to the concept of requiring citizens to show proof they have received a vaccination for the Chinese coronavirus in order to be allowed to enter an area or establishment.
“Ohio is not New York,” said State Rep. Al Cutrona (R-Canfield) in a statement. “I anticipate introducing this bill to ensure that the liberties of all Ohioans are instilled throughout this vaccination phase of the pandemic.”
New York is the first state to formally launch a “vaccine passport” program — called the “Excelsior Pass” — which allows residents to pull up a code on their phones to prove they have been vaccinated for the Chinese coronavirus, or have tested negative.
Ohio is not New York!
— Al Cutrona (@AlCutrona) March 30, 2021
Rep. Cutrona went on to say that while he encourages Ohioans to get vaccinated by their own free will, “a vaccine should not be mandated or required by our government for our people to integrate back to a sense of normalcy.”
“We’ve had restrictions on our freedoms for over a year and more restrictions or mandates are not the answer to every issue related to COVID-19,” Cutrona added.
Fellow Ohio State Rep. Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) echoed these sentiments on Monday, tweeting, “Vaccine passports have no place in a free society.”
Vaccine passports have no place in a free society.
— Representative Mike Loychik (@MikeLoychik) March 29, 2021
Rep. Loychik, who is also a co-sponsor of the upcoming bill, told Breitbart News that “upending society to implement an invasive vaccine credential system will only serve to further slow our economic recovery and deepen divisions in our society.”
“I absolutely encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated to do so as soon as they can, but vaccine passports are not the way to go,” Loychik added.
Rep. Cutrona, who currently holds a position as the Chief Operating Officer for a tri-county infectious disease medical practice in Ohio, told Breitbart News that he foresees a violation of privacy if a vaccine passport were to be implemented.
“It is quite clear that the purpose for these passports go far beyond COVID,” Cutrona told Breitbart News. “A certificate from a physician could establish whether you have had COVID or a vaccine, so there is no need for the passport if that was truly the only intention. Amazon is already discussing using this as a platform to handle financial transactions and tracking people.”
“This is a clear example of what it looks like to slowly steal our freedoms,” Cutrona added. “As a Chief Operating Officer of an ID medical practice, I can confidently say that breaching medical privacy and freedom in the face of what the government decides is best for us will never be acceptable.”
The State Rep. went on to say that “this level of government intrusion would begin a slippery slope for our country.”
“This is the exact opposite of what our founding fathers envisioned for our country and its liberty,” Cutrona affirmed.
“Good intentions rarely justify imposing on people’s freedoms,” Cutrona added. “More frequently, these good intentions result in unintended consequences. If we have learned anything over the past year, it is that more regulations isn’t the answer.”
Cutrona says that he anticipates introducing the bill within the next three weeks.
The Ohio lawmakers are not alone in their stance regarding a “vaccine passport,” as Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) recently expressed the concept is a “terrible idea,” adding that a state mandate is “totally off the table.”
“The vaccine passport is a terrible idea. We are definitely not going to require anything from the state’s perspective. That is totally off the table,” DeSantis said.