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Unfathomable government intrusion

For our society to fully return to normal, it’s going to take wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.

But a condition of returning to normal cannot be forcing people to have so-called “vaccine passports” to attend gatherings, fly on airplanes or do many other things.

Thankfully Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Centre/Mifflin, agrees.

“Every Pennsylvanian who wants a COVID-19 vaccine should have the opportunity to get one, and we are working hard to make sure that happens sooner rather than later. However, those who cannot receive the vaccine due to medical reasons, arbitrary vaccine deployment phases, or personal choice should not be discriminated against, especially as we work toward herd immunity,” Benninghoff said. “The idea of so-called vaccine passports is an opening to unfathomable government intrusion into people’s personal lives, particularly their private medical information. I hope the Wolf administration and my fellow lawmakers join me in opposing this ill-conceived idea.”

Most of society’s upheaval in recent months has been about fighting discrimination. So, why are some, mostly Democrats, suggesting something that will assuredly lead to just that?

And if you think any powers the government claims for itself are ever voluntarily relinquished or the lust to claim more power is ever satisfied, we have a bridge we’d like to sell you.

“The swift deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine is necessary for a return to normal, but that normal cannot include government-sanctioned monitoring of an individual’s health and the unfair selection of those who can return to normal and those who cannot,” Benninghoff said. “We have constitutional rights and health privacy laws for a reason. They should not cease to exist in a time of crisis. These passports may start with COVID-19, but where will they end?”

We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they can. But we also realize that some will have valid reasons for not getting one. Those people don’t deserve to be locked out of society.

A wise Pennsylvanian once said those who would give up essential liberty for temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. We hope those at the top of Pennsylvania’s government heed those words and say no to requiring intrusive “vaccine passports.”

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