On Friday, failed 2020 Democrat presidential candidate Andrew Yang called for a “barcode” for Americans to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccination.
Yang tweeted, “Is there a way for someone to easily show that they have been vaccinated – like a barcode they can download on their phone? There ought to be.”
The comments come as national debate stirs over how to re-open the country, which Yang also hinted at in his comments.
“Tough to have mass gatherings like concerts or ballgames without either mass adoption of the vaccine or a means of signaling,” Yang added.
Yang has already signaled that he would like to serve in Joe Biden’s White House.
He also has said he will run for office again.
The fringe candidate became popular in some circles for his main campaign theme: a “universal basic income,” or UBI.
Yang’s contention is that, as automation increases, more people will be thrown out of work. Thus, the government should provide everyone with $1,000 per month.
“We all know if I ran again, it would be a lot more fun than the first time,” Yang told Yahoo Finance in early November.
“Because the first time, you know, I was kind of climbing out of anonymity,” Yang said. “The second time, you know, we’d have a blast from day one.”
“I would 100% run for office again,” Yang said.
But would he run for president again?
Yang said, “You know, not sure which office, but the problems again are getting bigger now, not smaller. And I’m happy to say I feel like my ability to help has also gotten bigger.”
“I’m just going to keep on helping until some of these problems actually get better,” Yang said.
CNN reported earlier this month that Americans will receive vaccine verifications cards.
“The Department of Defense released the first images of a Covid-19 vaccination record card and vaccination kits Wednesday,” CNN reported on December 3rd.
CNN continued, “Vaccination cards will be used as the ‘simplest’ way to keep track of Covid-19 shots, said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition, which is supporting frontline workers who will administer Covid-19 vaccinations.”
The cards were described as a reminder to stay on the vaccine schedule, not as a “pass” that enables the holder to take part in society again.
Not everyone is convinced.
Some see such verification cards as the beginning of something more sinister.
Others see it as a necessary public health measure – which Yang hinted at.
But instead of a card, would something closer to Yang’s “barcode” idea actually happen?
According to Wisconsin’s WISN, Anit Mukherjee of the Center for Global Development said “some sort of technology is needed to verify whether [people] have had the vaccine” and is “almost a certainty for a return to normal.”
“There would be gatekeepers, as I call them, at different places, be it at your workplace or your office when you go in, or a stadium to watch the (Milwaukee) Bucks play,” Mukherjee said.
“They would require some form of assurance that you have been vaccinated,” Mukherjee added.
While it makes sense to have some sort of proof of vaccination, barcodes sound like something lifted right out of George Orwell’s 1984.
What else would such a barcode be used for in post-COVID times? Would we want Big Brother constantly watching and tracking citizens?
Are these concerns that even crossed Andrew Yang’s mind?
This debate is sure to intensify as the first doses of the vaccine roll out.
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