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Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., introduced legislation on Tuesday that would prohibit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from requiring Americans to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to board domestic flights. The bill also seeks to prevent TSA employees from requesting American flyers to produce a passport for domestic flights to “protect the privacy of personal health information.”
“Americans are working hard to recover from the devastation of COVID-19 and travel is critical to getting our economy fully re-opened,” Scott said in a statement. “While I continue to encourage everyone who wants one to get the vaccine, the federal government has no business requiring travelers to turn over their personal medical information to catch a flight. My Freedom to Fly Act ensures families in Florida and across the country can travel freely and without the ridiculous government bureaucracy created by vaccine passports.”
According to Fox News, “Scott’s legislation says that the TSA ‘may not prescribe or implement any regulation or policy that would allow employees’ to ‘request information relating to vaccinations from any passenger traveling on a flight between states or territories or possessions of the United States.’”
Scott’s move comes amid a nationwide effort by Republican lawmakers to prohibit governments from issuing vaccine passports and requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 as the country returns to normal. Last week, Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming introduced legislation that would “stop the federal government from establishing COVID-19 passports or working with third parties to establish their own vaccine passports.”
“Americans shouldn’t be discriminated against because of COVID-19 vaccine status — whether that is at work or in everyday life,” Cruz said. “Americans have a well-established right to privacy that any mandated vaccine passport would destroy. A vaccine passport would be discriminatory against people who, for whatever reason, do not get the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“The COVID vaccines are a medical miracle and getting vaccinated is a personal decision some may choose not to make for a variety of reasons. I’m proud to stand with Sen. Cruz against vaccine passports,” added Braun.