Hundreds of residents showed up to a county meeting after it was announced hey were planning a voluntary COVID passport system.
In April, Orange County, California announced plans to start a pilot voluntary vaccine passport system.
During a county meeting tension peaked and it forced Chairman Andrew Do to sideline the proposal and continue to focus on the county’s vaccine drive.
The pilot program would force users to use a Chinese style QR code app on their phones if they were vaccinated. County officials claimed the QR code was better than using vaccine cards and wouldn’t be lost easily.
Residents were not happy.
Hours before the meeting 580 people had requested to give public comment, each person was given 30 seconds to speak, and the majority told county officials to ditch the plan.
“It’s not about availability, it’s about the legal right of choice,” one woman said. “I’m a millennial in my prime who dreams of having a family, and I’m terrified to bring children into a world that violates their conscience and disrespects their freedom as citizens of the United States of America.”
One county resident, Leigh Dundas said, “I cannot underscore enough: This is the hill we die on. We cannot allow the people of America to be segregated or to be made prisoners in their own homes.”
It’s not like the county is having trouble with getting people vaccinated, a Los Angeles Times tracker shows 51% of the county has received their first dose.
Dr. Aaron Kheeriaty, director of the medical ethics program at UC Irvine and member of the vaccine task force in Orange County said that he understands why Americans are so against vaccine passports.
“I understand why it’s becoming so politicized,” he said, because “if private entities start developing policies that deploy that tool as a gatekeeper, then I think the fears and concerns that many people are trying to express right now actually will be borne out.”
May 12, 2021