Gov. Bill Lee joins GOP push against vaccine passports

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Posted at 12:56 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-07 08:41:56-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/AP) — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has joined fellow Republicans nationwide to advocate against COVID-19 vaccine passports, which are being developed to let inoculated people travel, shop and dine more freely.

The GOP governor tweeted Tuesday that he supports legislation to prohibit government-mandated vaccine passports to protect Tennesseans' health information and ensure the vaccine remains a voluntary, personal decision.

"I think vaccine passports are a bad idea," Lee said during a media availability Tuesday. "I do not believe that governments should impose vaccine requirements or mandates in any way, and I'm working with the legislature to support legislation that backs that up. I also think that government, I certainly hope that businesses follow that same pattern."

The passports show whether someone has been vaccinated or recently tested negative for COVID-19. It currently exists only in New York. Republicans in multiple states are pursuing proposals to ban their use as a restriction against people's activities.

The Biden Administration said it wouldn’t implement a vaccine passport program at the federal level.

This week, Tennessee expanded its eligibility for the vaccine to anyone 16-years-old and up. In Nashville, the city recently passed 30% of residents having at least one dose.