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DeSantis signs executive order prohibiting vaccine passports

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Florida Gov Ron DeSantis

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday issued an executive order banning the use of COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” which allow people to present evidence of their vaccination.

RELATED: Marjorie Taylor Greene floats bills to cut Fauci’s salary, ‘ban’ vaccine passports

“Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports,” DeSantis tweeted Friday afternoon. “The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon.”

The order prohibits state government entities from issuing “vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccine status to a third party”.

RELATED: Rep. Murphy rips vaccine passports, accuses Dems of wanting ‘police state’

It also bans businesses in the state from “requiring patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or post-transmission recovery” to enter or receive services from the place of business. However, businesses are still allowed to institute COVID-19 screening protocols.

The governor’s order, which comes a week after vowing to issue it, argued that mandating vaccination credentials “would create two classes of citizens based on vaccination.”

This move from DeSantis comes as the emerging concept of vaccine passports has irked many Republicans, with many citing privacy and civil liberties concerns in their opposition to it. Advocates for such passports say that it will speed up the reopening of the U.S. economy since more than 100 million Americans—about 30% of the population—have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to CDC data.

Last Friday, New York State launched its Excelsior Pass, which is available on a mobile app in the form a QR code that can be scanned to show evidence of vaccination.

RELATED: NY debuts COVID-19 Passport to prove vaccination

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Adviser to Fauci bragged about helping him evade FOIA, ‘he is too smart’ to get caught

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Screen Shot 2021 05 17 at 10.47.34 AM

The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic published evidence ahead of a hearing that explains the senior scientific adviser to then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci actually bragged about helping Fauci evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The adviser, David Morens, admitted in his own communications to intentionally evading FOIA by using a Fauci’s private Gmail address or just handing him documents in person, according to the newly disclosed emails.

The 35-page report on Morens includes previously unreleased emails including:

An April 21, 2021 email shows Morens contacted EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, whom Morens has described as his “best friend” and a U.S. taxpayer conduit for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as Boston University and New England Biolabs researchers.

The subject line references “CoV research in China, GoF, etc.,” referring to EcoHealth-facilitated coronavirus research at WIV that could make a virus more transmissible or dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recently admitted it funded gain-of-function research under that definition but not a stricter regulatory definition.

“PS, i forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs,” Morens wrote. “I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

A May 13, 2021 email to the same recipients referred to “our ‘secret’ back channel” by which Morens connected Fauci to a journalist named “Arthur,” apparently to discuss the feds’ preferred narrative that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally rather than via lab leak. The email cited an article on the message board Virological.

Gerald Keusch, associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Institute at BU, emailed Daszak Oct. 25, 2021 to relay a phone conversation with “David,” who is “concerned about the privacy of text” and email sent and received on his “government phone” because they “could be FOIA’able.”

“Tony has told him not to be in touch with you and EHA for the time being,” Keusch wrote. Morens relayed that Daszak should get his story straight on EcoHealth’s claim that NIH locked it out of the system when it tried to file its year-five progress report that disclosed an arguable gain-of-function experiment.

Earlier in the day, Morens told Daszak “i will be meeting with Tony about this later on.” The subject line of the thread was “Draft response to Michael Lauer,” deputy director for extramural research at NIH.

Morens also told Daszak that Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins are “trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations,” apparently meaning against allegations that U.S. tax dollars passed through EcoHealth funded research that may have led to SARS-CoV-2’s emergence.

The subcommittee said it found emails that revealed “likely illegal” practices, including an April 2020 email in which Morens shared a “new NIAID implementation plan” with Daszak and an August 2020 email in which Daszak mentioned a “kick-back” to Morens after NIH awarded $7.5 million to EcoHealth.

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