The Biden Administration is currently working on providing guidance for "vaccine passports" which would allow quick, safe access to buildings and events.
But many Republicans are vehemently opposed to the possibility private businesses, events and local governments would require proof of vaccination, citing the requirement as being invasive and dystopian.
Further, some conservatives likened vaccine passports to the Holocaust, arguing the government demanding proof of vaccination is tantamount to the government rounding up Jews, Romani, LGBTQ+ people and political dissidents for extermination and marking them with coded symbols.
The Kentucky Libertarian party started the movement on Twitter with the following question:
"Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?"
Are the vaccine passports going to be yellow, shaped like a star, and sewn on our clothes?— Libertarian Party of Kentucky (@Libertarian Party of Kentucky)1617046082.0
The yellow star is a representation of the Star of David and was used as a form of identification for Jews to make it easier for deportation to camps throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. The practice has its origins tracing back as far as medieval times and was meant to humiliate Jews.
One Twitter user was quick to point out how the Libertarian Party of Kentucky's analogy was completely invalid and did not make sense. According to the party's tweet, if the Star of David identified vaccinated people, then it would be the unvaccinated doing the oppressing.
Twitter user Sheer Ganor (@sheerganor) wrote:
"These clowns can't even get their own abuse of analogies right."
"If the vaccinated folks are the ones wearing the stars, then who are the KY libertarians in this story?"
These clowns can’t even get their own abuse of analogies right. If the vaccinated folks are the ones wearing the st… https://t.co/cqO0RH0RiS— Sheer Ganor (@Sheer Ganor)1617076351.0
Many others castigated the Kentucky Libertarian Party's tweet.
@lpky Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and fina… https://t.co/c7bJFMZ6h0— Auschwitz Memorial (@Auschwitz Memorial)1617163452.0
@lpky This probably sounded witty in your head, instead of abjectly asinine.— John Pavlovitz (@John Pavlovitz)1617117780.0
@lpky As someone whose family members had to wear these (I own one of them) may I say f *ck off w this comparison?— Emily Raphael (@Emily Raphael)1617068388.0
Former President Donald Trump's former Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell also joined the movement against vaccine passports by tweeting a meme from Quentin Tarantino's 2009 alternate history movie, Inglorious Bastards, to compare proof of vaccination to the Holocaust.
Grenell is an outspoken Israel advocate who was appointed by Trump to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Council.
Speak up now. #slipperyslope https://t.co/6WlDz0I9hQ— Richard Grenell (@Richard Grenell)1617037730.0
In 2019, Grenell also tweeted:
"Never compare the Holocaust to anything. Ever."
@RichardGrenell Aged well. https://t.co/XTLm0olTnz— Anu (@Anu)1617075418.0
Far-right Republican and QAnon conspiracy theorist, Marjorie Taylor Greene, lambasted President Joe Biden and his administration's efforts to implement the digital passes.
She suggested they be called "Biden's Mark of the Beast" which is a reference to the end of days from the Book of Revelation.
They are actually talking about people’s ability to buy and sell linked to the vaccine passport. They might as wel… https://t.co/4GXVOXPRIu— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸)1617049181.0
Marjorie Taylor Greene says that a vaccine passport is "Biden's Mark of the Beast" and that any company the require… https://t.co/2EPWcXG1Bn— Right Wing Watch (@Right Wing Watch)1617113523.0
The Mark of the Beast is also a persistent conspiracy theory among religious conservatives who believe getting vaccinated during the pandemic was the same as pledging allegiance to the devil.
@mtgreenee Oh no... Watch out everyone... "They" are on the move. If we're not careful, "they" might do or say oth… https://t.co/V3alVHt6dt— CANCELtheGOP (@CANCELtheGOP)1617049288.0
@mtgreenee WOW! this is beyond ignorant. Why don't you for once do the right thing for your constituents and let th… https://t.co/sRS3RcARKo— Human (@Human)1617049310.0
@RightWingWatch So you’re telling me that, if we all get vaccine passports, I’ll be less likely to run into Marjori… https://t.co/1VjXJkzU7g— APH (@APH)1617114500.0
Vaccine passports being compared to the Star of David continued getting slammed for its false equivalency.
@lpky No, see the yellow star was to show the person was something considered less than a person. The vaccine pass… https://t.co/9gvEM0RWyb— Bella Versace (@Bella Versace)1617128311.0
@lpky It is rare to see that many different aspects of destructive stupidity demonstrated in so few words. You beli… https://t.co/kC19TW7wfZ— JRehling (@JRehling)1617097681.0
@lpky Are you suggesting that proving you’ve been vaccinated is like having all of your possessions stolen, being h… https://t.co/ujWgwblPTF— Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast (@Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast)1617126049.0
@lpky A notice of vaccination is an easy way to show those you come in contact with that you have done your part to… https://t.co/OpNf2boEnz— Frank Mitman (@Frank Mitman)1617134649.0
Although vaccine passes would help businesses reopen and minimize risks of spreading infection, Republican governors like Ron DeSantis in Florida are intent on banning them.
In a press conference on Monday, Florida's GOP governor said:
"It's completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society."
Proof of vaccination is already required for enrollment in most public schools, community colleges, universities, the military, foreign service, etc...
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has promised to ban local government and businesses from using vaccine passports. https://t.co/y8AGxHlkhB— Sam Street (@Sam Street)1617051051.0
However, Lawrence Gostin, director of the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center, believes we can return to "normalcy" faster with some form of digital health pass.
He told Insider:
"Vaccine passports, if done right and done equitably, can be way to help us get back to normal more quickly. It can make all the things we love to do safer: travel, going to a sporting event, getting back to work."
"What we've seen in this pandemic is that anything can be politicized, whether it's a mask or vaccine, whatever it might be."
"But the truth is that vaccines are not only our best way out of this pandemic, they're our only way out of this pandemic — because it's clear that we can't change our behavior."