States have been pushing back on the idea of “vaccine passports” for people to have to prove they have received the COVID-19 vaccine to do anything outside their homes. Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on April 2 banning the passports in his state, as did Gov. Greg Abbott in Texas soon after — with dozens of other states advancing legislation.
Although skepticism about instituting private surveillance of the population is increasing by the day, the government is pushing vaccine passports in cahoots with private companies. Here are just some of the big companies that are showing themselves willing to act as a shadow government to privately force on Americans a regime they did not consent to through representative, legitimate government.
The state of New York has been the first state in the nation to implement a vaccine passport. The “Excelsior Pass” developed by IBM launched in March and is used by Madison Square Garden and other venues to verify people have received an immunization. The software is based on IBM’s “Digital Health Pass.” Already, privacy attorneys have raised issues with it, especially its ability to be hacked.
Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, noted that it took only 11 minutes to hack the IBM software. Cahn hacked the system by merely searching for vaccination cards, which people have been posting on Twitter. He called passes the “worst of both worlds.”
In September, IBM received $23 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health in order to “develop digital health solutions that help address the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mastercard’s ID verification spurred b.well Connected Health to partner with it on “collect[ing] COVID-19 vaccination records.”
“As an example, individuals who have been identity-proofed through b.well’s platform will unlock additional sources of data, where b.well can collect COVID-19 vaccination records in order to provide a vaccination passport consumers can use for travel, events or other activities that require a vaccine passport to participate,” said Philips Johnson, chief strategy and innovation officer at b.well.
In 2018, Mastercard already began developing digital records software. Mastercard partnered with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, to create “digital immunization record[s]” for people in poorer communities. “Centralization of immunization records will also allow local governments to assess vaccination programs and adjust accordingly,” USA Today claimed — while ignoring the privacy implications of a centralized, privately controlled database of confidential patient information.
Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft, Mayo Clinic, Evernorth
These five groups have partnered through the “Vaccination Credential Initiative” to develop vaccine passports for Apple Wallet or Google Pay. The group goes so far as to say that people without smartphones “could receive paper printed with QR codes containing W3C verifiable credentials,” which would be a physical vaccine passport.
“As the world begins to recover from the pandemic, having electronic access to vaccination, testing, and other medical records will be vital to resuming travel and more,” said Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units. “This process needs to be as easy as online banking. We are committed to working collectively with the technology and medical communities, as well as global governments, to ensure people will have secure access to this information where and when they need it.”
“With a single platform to help deliver safe and continuous operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this coalition will be crucial to support public health and wellbeing,” said Bill Patterson, executive vice president of CRM Applications at Salesforce.
Salesforce and Microsoft joined hundreds of other companies in opposing the recent Georgia election bill signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to mandate ID for absentee ballots. Regardless, both are crafting IDs for people to prove they have received the vaccine. Neither companies responded to The Federalist’s request for comment.
Healthvana, Carbon Health, Othena
While Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said “there are not current plans to impose” vaccine passports statewide in California, Los Angeles is working with these three groups on such an initiative.
In Los Angeles County, Healthvana is a major player that has managed the state’s digital records since 2016. In December 2020, the company began maintaining immunization records — becoming the first country in the U.S. to put forth such an initiative. In the city of Los Angeles, Carbon Health was tapped to store vaccine records and be an appointment booker.
“Once a person receives their first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a Carbon Health–powered vaccination site, they will receive a discharge notification via SMS on their cell phone; that notification will contain a link to their digital Health Pass,” Carbon Health said in a statement.
Orange County in Southern California is testing out vaccine passports with Othena. The company likewise has crafted a digital application software for patients to book appointments and provide vaccine records.