New York rolls out immunity passports, civil liberty advocates cry foul

It’s not as if some of us didn’t see this coming from a mile away, but it’s happening even faster than I would have imagined and the scope is already expanding. In an effort to look like he’s actually thinking of reopening society, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo took time out from his busy schedule of ducking sexual harassment charges yesterday to announce that certain venues in New York City would be reopening for sports and music events, among other things. But there’s one catch. You’re going to need an “Excelsior Pass” if you want to go inside. If you haven’t already guessed, this pass will be a government-approved document or digital display on your phone showing that you’ve been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. If you don’t have one, you don’t get in. (New York Post)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday the rollout of a new pilot program in which New Yorkers would have to flash a sort of COVID-19 passport in order to enter sports arenas, theaters and other businesses as the state continues reopening efforts.

The plan is to test the “Excelsior Pass,” which will use secure technology to confirm if a person has gotten vaccinated or has had a recent negative COVID-19 exam result, during events at Madison Square Garden and Barclays Center, Cuomo said in a statement.

The pass was tested at Tuesday night’s New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden.

This is no longer just hypothetical. They tested it last night during the Rangers game at Madison Square Garden. Lots of people were allowed inside to cheer on the team, but only if they had an Excelsior Pass. The vast majority of people in the Big Apple haven’t become eligible to even make an appointment for a vaccination, so they were all shut out of getting into the game.

We already knew that a sort of de facto immunity passport was on the way from the airline industry, but this program is taking it to the next level. This is the state government setting itself up as the only recognized authority able to issue these passports and instructing the private sector to restrict access to public events to only those with the document, either on paper or electronically.

To hear some of the objections to this type of governmental control, check out this brief interview clip from Fox News. (It has subtitles if you don’t want to turn on the volume.)

Civil liberty advocates are saying that a program such as this will create a new “class system” that discriminates against those without the Excelsior Pass. Does that sound familiar to any of our regular readers? Back in December, I warned of the coming of a “two-tier society” based on exactly this premise. At the time, I foolishly thought that it would have to be handled internally by the travel industry and similar entities because it seemed unreasonable to believe that the government – at any level – would impose such restrictions on free movement.

It appears that I have underestimated them once again. The more chilling feature of this story comes when you consider what’s going to happen in the future. COVID is going to be with us for a long time, possibly forever. Even after we get it knocked down to the point where it’s under control to the level that the flu is, once a “passport” system like this is in place, do you think the government will ever cancel it? If you do, I’ve got a nice bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

Everyone’s private medical data is going to be shared all over the place under this type of plan. Just like face masks and shutdowns, this sort of passport system must not be allowed to become a permanent fixture of American society. This is not normal. This is never going to be normal. And the government cannot be allowed to force us to accept it as normal.