Republicans have used more inflammatory rhetoric, with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) calling the passport idea “Biden’s Mark of the Beast” and some conservative activists comparing it with Nazi policies to identify Jews. They are opening a new front in the pandemic culture wars, attacking efforts by the Biden administration to develop guidelines for coronavirus vaccination passports that businesses can use to determine who can safely participate in activities such as flights, concerts, and indoor dining.
“We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said Monday. “It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.”
The hyper-charged rhetoric is directed at a nascent initiative between the Biden administration and private companies to develop a standard way for Americans to show they have received a coronavirus vaccination. The idea behind the passports or certificates is that they would be a way to ensure that people could return to normal activities without risking the further spread of a virus that has killed more than 550,000 Americans.
“It’s been politicized in two different directions,” said Luntz, arguing that liberals worry that a passport would widen inequities around who has access to vaccines and that conservatives fear it would limit their freedoms.
Luntz said the growing politicization around the passports also threatened the entire initiative. “Unless the Biden administration tempers both sides down right now, they will find within days it becomes impossible to do. I’ve seen this movie and it doesn’t have a good ending,” he said.