Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre/Mifflin) said Tuesday that Pennsylvania should not follow states like New York in adopting or developing so-called “vaccine passports” that provide proof that passport holders have received the COVID-19 vaccine or recently tested negative for COVID-19.
“Every Pennsylvanian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should have the opportunity to get one, and we are working hard to make sure that happens sooner rather than later. However, those who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical reasons, arbitrary vaccine deployment phases, or personal choice should not be discriminated against, especially as we work toward herd immunity,” Benninghoff said. “The idea of so-called vaccine passports is an opening to unfathomable government intrusion into people’s personal lives, particularly their private medical information. I hope the Wolf administration and my fellow lawmakers join me in opposing this ill-conceived idea.”
Benninghoff said his concern is rooted in Pennsylvania’s past pattern of following New York in responding to COVID-19.
“The swift deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for a return to normal, but that normal cannot include government-sanctioned monitoring of an individual’s health and the unfair selection of those who can return to normal and those who cannot,” Benninghoff added. “We have constitutional rights and health privacy laws for a reason. They should not cease to exist in a time of crisis. These passports may start with COVID-19, but where will they end?”
Pennsylvania House Majority Leader
171st Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jason Gottesman