Press Secretary Jen Psaki took questions on Monday about the proposal that was floated over the weekend for "vaccine passports," a new credential that businesses and government could use to track people's vaccine status. Businesses could then use this credential to allow vaccinated persons admittance to events and places to which non-vaccinated persons would be denied entrance.
Psaki was asked about the official White House position on the concept of vaccine passports. As regards those who don't want to get the vaccine, whether they should be permitted to move about freely, Psaki said that the federal government will "provide guidance."
"A determination or development of a vaccine passport or whatever you want to call it will be driven by the private sector. Ours will be more focused on guidelines that can be used as a basis," she said.
"There are a couple, key principles that we are working from. One is that there will be no centralized universal federal vaccinations database, and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential."
"Second, we want to encourage an open marketplace with a variety of private-sector companies and non-profit coalitions developing solutions."
"And third, we want to drive the market toward meeting public interest goals. So we'll leverage our resources to ensure that all vaccination credential systems meet key standards."
"Whether that's universal accessibility, affordability, availability, both digitally and on paper. But those are our standards. It's currently going through an interagency process, we'll make some recommendations, and then we believe it will be driven by the private sector."
No further details are available on where exactly the line would be drawn between letting the market take care of solutions and the government taking a stand to protect individual rights and liberties to move about freely in society without having specific paperwork that notes a person's vaccination status.
Psaki concluded in the fashion now common for all interactions with the White House by saying that "there is no timeline" for any of the above.
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