Gov. Gavin Newsom’s move to reopen the state by June 15 must be accompanied by a vaccine passport system that ensures public gatherings don’t become venues for spreading coronavirus.
Sadly, about 25% of adults nationally say they’ll refuse the vaccine. And about 20% of Californians still insist they will probably or definitely not get it. However misguided, that’s their right. But it’s not their right to put the rest of us at risk of a statewide COVID-19 resurgence when the governor lifts restrictions in two months.
Ironically, some of the loudest political pressures pushing Newsom to reopen the state are coming from people who also resist inoculation. They can’t have it both ways. If they want to attend large gatherings, they must get vaccinated.
And California needs a way to quickly ascertain at public events who has been inoculated and who hasn’t. Airlines are developing a system for passengers. New York has rolled out its “Excelsior Pass.” And vaccinated Israeli citizens receive a “Green Pass” — a digital passport for entry into gyms, cultural events, wedding halls and concerts.
Here in California, with the help of vaccines, we are making tremendous progress slowing the spread of COVID-19. But nationally cases and hospitalizations are on the rise. And cases are surging while deaths are rising again around the world, much of which is years away from meaningful levels of vaccination.
Of course, the greater the national and global spread, the more opportunities for the virus to mutate and the greater the number of resulting variants, some of which are more contagious or resistant to existing vaccines.
Newsom on April 1 expressed justifiable concern about the danger of mutations. But five days later, in another of the governor’s coronavirus flip-flops, he declared that California could return to normal by June 15.
Provided vaccines are widely available and hospital COVID-19 cases remain low, restaurants, bars, stores, movie theaters and museums will be allowed to open at full capacity, indoors and outside. Even conventions up to 5,000 people will be permitted[…]
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