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.
“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”.
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.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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Health Industry Distributors’ Association: Supply Chain Delays ‘A Healthcare Issue’
The Health Industry Distributors’ Association (HIDA) released harrowing data stating “Transportation Delays Are A Healthcare Issue.” HIDA’s December release states, “research estimates that approximately 8,000-12,000 containers of critical medical supplies are delayed an average of up to 37 days throughout the transportation system.”
The statement continues, “The West Coast port with the greatest number of delayed medical containers are the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. The most congested East Coast port is the Port of Savannah.”
An infographic is accompanied with the statement which breaks down the crisis further. 17 is the average number of days the shipments are delayed at the Port. There’s an 11 day average delay by rail, and a 9 day average delay by truck.
In those shipping containers, the infographic states 187,000 gowns, 360,000 syringes and 3.5 million surgical gloves are held. The ports with the most medical delayed supplies are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Savannah, New York/New Jersey, Charleston, Seattle, Oakland, Boston, Baltimore and Houston.
Axios reports under a “Why it matters” headline, that “Per their projections, medical supplies arriving at a U.S. port on Christmas Day won’t be delivered to hospitals and other care settings until February 2022.”
As a result, “that could delay critical supplies at a time when health care is already expected to most need them due to surges from Delta and Omicron.”
Additionally, “The supply chain problems can compound, starting with medical supplies languishing in U.S. ports for an average of 17 days, officials said.”
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