The Issues With Florida's “Vaccine Passport Ban”
Even after the new law claiming to “ban vaccine passports” takes effect Floridians remain exposed to many situations where they may be coerced or forced to take a vaccine.
At the tail end of the 2021 legislative session the Florida State Legislature passed SB 2006 which dealt with a number of issues related to emergency preparedness, government authority during a state of emergency and proof of vaccination issues.
Now that SB 2006 has been signed into law more and more groups are getting a chance to digest the law and understand where some of the issues are in the adopted legislation which takes effect July 1, 2021.
This short article focuses on the state of Florida law after SB 2006 and the various ways in which Floridians could still be coerced or forced to take a vaccination against their will.
Many healthy law-abiding citizens will be shocked to learn that they still may be coerced or forced to take a vaccine, even if their doctor advises them not to take that vaccine, to engage in normal life in Florida.
Exposure 1 – Treatment/Privileges/Segregation - while SB 2006 prohibits businesses, government and educational institutions from requiring proof of vaccination to gain entry or services from those entities in certain situations, SB 2006 does not prohibit those entities from treating people differently based on vaccination status.
We've already had reports of certain sports teams or other venues discussing the possibility of separating people based on their vaccination status. It may well be the case as we get later in 2021 that if you want to go to your favorite concert or sporting event that you will be forced to sit in an “unvaccinated section” and be segregated from the rest of the crowd.
We also know that some workplaces are requiring healthy law-abiding citizens to wear masks at work if they have not received the vaccine. This two class workplace will continue to create tension and eventually may impact the advancement opportunities of the unvaccinated as we create a two-tier system and world.
Exposure 2 – Keeping Your Job - while SB 2006 covers customers and patrons, persons receiving services from governmental entities and people attending or enrolling in educational institutions, SB 2006 does not deal with employment relationships. Many employers will be able to proceed with their plans to require healthy law-abiding citizens to take a newly developed vaccine with a short track record in order to retain their employment.
Exposure 3 – Backdoor Vaccine Passports - one of the big promises of SB 2006 was that it banned vaccine passports. Vaccine passports generally require the individual to show proof that they had received the vaccine or a negative test in order to gain entry to many functions in society. However, SB 2006 allows screening protocols consistent with government issued guidance meaning that testing could be required. Further, there is nothing in SB 2006 that would prohibit a business, government entity or educational institution from waving testing requirements for the vaccinated.
Nova Southeastern University recently announced a program where they will treat unvaccinated students differently and will assume that all students are unvaccinated unless they voluntarily show proof of vaccination to the university.
It can easily be imagined the system to be developed where a business, government entity or educational institution required a recent Covid test result for entry which is explicitly permitted by the law if consistent with governmental guidance. Further, that business, governmental entity or educational institution could then waive the requirement for a test for the vaccinated.
The net result of this would be that without requiring people to show proof of vaccination we may end up in a world where proof of vaccination is effectively needed to pass through society on a normal basis without undue cost and friction.
This type of arrangement would meet the definition of “vaccine passport” as currently defined by WebMD.
Exposure 4 – Depends On The Acts Of The State Health Office - SB 2006 provided for fines of up to $5000 for violations of its statement that certain entities are not to require Covid-19 vaccination documentation in certain situations. SB 2006 does not give a private cause of action to individuals for violations. Meaning, if you, as a healthy law-abiding citizen, are required to show proof of vaccination you have to report it to the State Health Office and hope that the State Health Office follows up and issues a fine. SB 2006 does not allow you to go to court and collect money for your losses for being denied entry or to gain entry.
If the political winds change, we may find that the State Health Office does not wish to enforce the fines which would effectively remove any power from SB 2006. One administrative action could effectively allow vaccination documentation to be required in Florida.
Exposure 5 – Forced Vaccinations - many Floridians are disgusted by the fact that the State of Florida has one of the most aggressive forced vaccination laws in the entire United States. Florida Statute 381.00315 provides that, upon certain conditions, the State Health Officer may order Floridians to be forced vaccinated against their will. Additionally, 381.00315 goes on to state that the State Health Officer can use law enforcement to carry out these forced vaccinations.
In adopting SB 2006 minor corrections were made to the forced vaccination law showing that the Florida State Legislature was aware of the law and affirmed it.
The American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. has conducted a number of surveys and found that many Floridians are not aware of this forced vaccination authority and are shocked that a State Health Officer that has never met a patient could order their forced vaccination over the advice of their personal physician.
Exposure 6 – Medical Care – SB 2006 explicitly provides that certain medical providers can require proof of vaccination for entry to their practices and to gain medical care. Clearly SB 2006 is setting up a two-tier medical system based on whether you are vaccinated or not.
Additionally, it is unclear whether healthy law-abiding citizens who have not received the vaccine will be able to get emergency care in a critical situation. Will healthy law-abiding citizens who are injured in an auto accident or as bystanders to criminal acts be left to die because they have yet to receive a vaccine?
Further, individuals are already pointing to difficulty in getting medical care because of a lack of vaccination. SB 2006 endorses medical practices treating the unvaccinated as second-class citizens.
Exposure 7 – Travel Issues - Florida is known for its tourism economy and being a destination that people wish to go to. But with SB 2006 coming into force July 1, 2021, it is unclear whether these provisions will have a negative impact on tourism and state revenues.
It is foreseeable with the State's forced vaccination authority that is gaining additional attention, the medical discrimination provisions of SB 2006 and the possibility of back-door vaccine passports through the testing requirements permitted by SB 2006 that Florida may be creating an environment that is unfavorable and undesirable for tourists. Quite simply others may not wish to visit the state because of these draconian medical issues.
Exposure 8 – Limited To Covid-19 – SB 2006 is limited in coverage to “Covid-19” documentation. As such should a new strain or mutation of the virus be relabled as anything other than Covid-19 the documentation provisions of SB 2006 would not be applicable.
While there are number of issues with the current state of Florida law on medical freedom and vaccine choice, Florida does have many tools to use if it chooses to update his laws to provide for greater medical freedom. Despite the contrary arguments Florida will be well-positioned to respond to public health emergencies event without vaccine passports or forced vaccines.
Under existing law the State of Florida has the ability to do tracking and reporting on Covid cases and the authority to quarantine and isolate. Quite simply, the State of Florida's ability to deal with Covid-19 is still very strong even without laws that could coerce or force people to take vaccines against their will.
We ask that you call, write an email your Florida representative, your Senator and the Governor and tell them you want a new bill that supports medical freedom and addresses the loopholes in SB 2006.
You can find the contact information for your elected officials here: https://www.myfloridahouse.gov/findyourrepresentative
Governor DeSantis can be contacted at: https://www.flgov.com/contact-governor/
For Additional Information Or Media Interviews:
Please feel free to contact Our Shawn McBride at the American Freedom Information Institute, Inc. - www.amfreedomii.com - (407) 349-3085 – or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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