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Friday, April 2, 2021

Digital passports: latest cultural dividing issue

      As we move to reopen our country the possibility of issuing vaccination passports is following the pattern of a cultural divide just as mask-wearing has been.  Those conservatives that have been reluctant to mandate masks are now opposing issuing of passports to persons who are fully vaccinated.  Government control is seen as too much "big government" even as it provides a means of opening up our economy.   Other countries like South Korea don't seem to have the same hesitancy to developing the passports as they once developed a national testing program that has reduced the impact of the virus in their country.

    While the Biden administration has not indicated planning a national passport program it seems as if the private business community will develop their own systems.  Our country hasn't apparently learned the lesson that uncoordinated systems have a poor chance of addressing the spread of the virus.  Our fear of "big government" in a pandemic has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths in the United States.  The role of government in placing the needs of our broader society above our individual freedoms is at the heart of our political divisions today.  Vaccine passports are only the latest example of that cultural and political division. 

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