Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Even Liberals Think New York’s Vaccine Passport is a Hot Mess

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Image: Screenshot of Excelsior ad at Apple app store

New York, the capital of COVID World, is going all-in with vaccine passports. But do they actually make people safer, or just make life a lot more inconvenient (and a lot less free)?

Late last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced the launch of the Excelsior Pass, a digital system for providing proof of vaccination or immunity that was developed by IBM.

The Excelsior Pass works by allowing users to upload and store their test and vaccination record onto an app, which issues a QR code. Users can then print the code or present it on their phone for scanning in order to enter theaters, major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, and catered events — all venues that New York state guidelines require to screen for coronavirus.

Use of the Excelsior Pass for admission to these venues is optional; New Yorkers can present their actual physical medical records. But while the app is designed to speed up and simplify the process, even proponents of vaccine passports say the Excelsior Pass misses the mark in many ways.


Geoffrey Fowler, a technology columnist for the Washington Post, described his experiences with the app. “My tech-reporter colleague tried to use it to enter Yankee Stadium, but the system didn’t update with his clearance until after the game was over,” Fowler wrote, going on to relate that not only is the system open to fraud, it creates additional barriers to entry for people to access goods and services.

Writes Fowler:

But I question how effective Excelsior Pass will be at keeping everyone safe. For one, it’s pretty easy to set up a fake pass. (Yikes, you might want to take down any vaccine selfies you posted to social media.) To stop potential fraud, you always have to show your ID along with Excelsior Pass — which is another kind of barrier that could make some people not want to use it.

As other states and even private companies work on their own vaccine passports, some of New York’s other choices also deserve scrutiny. The state hasn’t been very clear about where, and for how long, we might be required to show a vaccine passport — digital or physical. We all expect to need a passport at a border crossing, but will we eventually need a vaccine passport at Starbucks? The grocery store? Work? I found you could technically already use Excelsior Pass to scan your own dinner party guests … if they’d still call you a friend after.

Moreover, downloading the Excelsior Pass requires the latest version of Android or iOS, meaning users with phones that are more than four to five years old will be unable to use it because the phones do not run the latest operating systems.

The Apple App Store page for the Excelsior Pass is filled with negative reviews. One user complained: “I am a resident of NYS but was able to get my vaccine in Florida while there for the winter. I will never be in any NYS stats or database. We need a National Approach to this issue. We need to stop having each state do their own thing.”

Another commented: “I am not ‘eligible’ for a vaccine pass because the app says it’s been more than 180 days since my last shot. First, it has not been 180 days. Second, I was under the impression the app provides proof of vaccination. Why would eligibility for that proof expire after 180 days?”

As of the publication of this article, four states, each of them controlled by Republicans, have banned vaccine passports. Idaho on Wednesday became the fourth — following Florida, Texas, and Utah — upon Governor Brad Little’s signing of an executive order barring Idaho state government entities from requiring proof of coronavirus vaccination to receive public services.

The idea of vaccine passports has been in the works by the members of the globalist establishment for years, but the COVID-19 outbreak provided the public impetus to finally put them into practice.

As The New American has previously reported, GAVI, the Global Alliance of Vaccines and Immunizations, which is funded by elite foundations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation, has already worked with Mastercard to create a digital vaccination record and identity system known as a “Wellness Pass.”

The biometric digital identity platform Trust Stamp is being introduced in “low-income, remote communities” in West Africa as part of a partnership with GAVI-Mastercard in order to integrate biometric identification with their Wellness Pass.

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