4 New Jersey GOP lawmakers introduce bills to bar forced disclosure of vaccine status
Some politicians in New Jersey say that they are against the idea of a vaccine passport, and there are some who are hoping to make it illegal to even ask anyone if they have been vaccinated.
It has become a hot-topic issue, with some saying that requesting proof that someone has been vaccinated against COVID-19 is an invasion of privacy. While others are happy to volunteer that information.
“There’s definitely more customers coming in every day and when they come in, they’re very vocal about the fact that they received their vaccine. They’re excited about it,” says J. Walker Salon founder Jessica Walker.
Walker has about 60 employees at four locations. She says that she is not forcing them to get the vaccine, but that it is happening on its own.
“Most of the people I work with are definitely for getting the vaccine and having everything reopen. I don’t know that I would necessarily mandate it,” she says.
While customers can decide for themselves, Walks says it could eventually help with the screening process.
Some businesses are offering discounts for proof of vaccination. Meanwhile, places like New York are using a vaccine passport for gatherings at places like sporting events.
But there are four Republicans New Jersey lawmakers, who in the name of discrimination and constitutional rights, have introduced two bills that would ban a vaccine passport.
If the bills are made into law, employers could not ask about the vaccine, schools can’t make students prove they have a vaccine and the government can’t mandate a vaccine.
“I don’t think the government should create what would amount to a segregated society if they are going to mandate a vaccine passport,” says state Sen. Mike Testa.
Testa says that he is not getting the COVID-19 vaccine himself, calling it “experimental.”
“A lot of people in America and in the state of New Jersey will not be OK with private businesses asking them whether they’ve been vaccinated,” Testa says.
The American Civil Liberties Union says that it is not against the idea of a vaccine passport in certain contexts. But the organization says that it does raise concerns about a digital system in terms of access and privacy, saying that failures are likely along the way.