Gov. Lee opposes vaccine passports for Tennesseans

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) – Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday that he opposes vaccine passports.

The governor made the statement in a pair of tweets posted on Tuesday morning.

“I oppose vaccine passports. The COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement,” Lee said in the Twitter posts. “I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans’ health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal decision.”

I oppose vaccine passports. The COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement.&mdash; Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GovBillLee/status/1379460304967454727?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2021</a>

I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans' health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal decision.&mdash; Gov. Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GovBillLee/status/1379460305999265793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>April 6, 2021</a>

Lee becomes at least the third governor to oppose the vaccine passports.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/us_world_news/florida-governor-bans-covid-19-vaccine-passports/article_b187a3f0-0e57-5e64-a7c9-05b7c9bfb103.html”>signed an executive order</a> banning the use of COVID-19 passports in the state, citing freedom and privacy concerns. The order prohibits any government entity from issuing vaccine passports and blocks businesses from requiring any such documentation.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday that <a href=”https://www.wsmv.com/news/us_world_news/mississippi-gop-governor-pushes-back-on-vaccine-passports-i-dont-think-its-a-good-thing/article_ad7a31af-b832-50d5-8679-b32360ef3ce6.html”>he doesn’t support the potential use of the COVID-19 passport</a> in his state, calling the credentials that could be key to a return to normalcy by the end of the year unnecessary.

“I don’t support vaccine passports. I don’t think it’s necessary and I don’t think it’s a good thing to do in America,” Reeves said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday morning.

The Biden administration has been working with non-profits and tech firms to develop standards for people to prove they’ve gotten the vaccine, according to at least two administration officials, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last week that there will be no federal mandate that would require every American to get a vaccine credential.

Some groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, have raised privacy concerns as more and more Americans get vaccinated and states continue to roll back restrictions.

CNN contributed to this report.