Vaccine passports after all? (update #8)


  1. Originally published, May 29, 2021, 8:11 am.

  2. May 29, 2021, 12:15 pm:

    • Thanks, Mom! My mother is advancing my planned down payment. I have ordered the car. I’m hoping to have it at the end of June.

      As the salesperson explained it, this is a car that was already destined for the dealership. They will now ask for modifications for my specific packages—I’ve tried to order intelligently so I won’t regret not getting an option I might reasonably need down the road—and if Toyota goes along with this request, we’re on for the end of June. Otherwise, it will take longer.

  3. May 30, 2021, 12:48 pm:

  4. May 30, 2021, 9:59 pm:

    • What may be the saddest thing about progressives getting co-opted by mainstream Democrats is when they bend over backwards to try to rationalize being co-opted:

  5. May 31, 2021, 10:43 am:

    • So I’m still sitting here at home:

    • May 31, 2021, 2:13 pm:

    • May 31, 2021, 7:31 pm:

      • This gets pretty deep into the science of viruses, certainly deeper than I fully understand, but Salon has an interview with a virologist about the “lab leak” theory of the novel coronavirus that Joe Biden has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to review. If I understand correctly, the reason for suspecting a “lab leak” is that the intermediate species that would have passed the virus on to humans has not been identified. Apparently that’s unusual, but otherwise, the evidence really doesn’t support either the “lab leak” or natural transmission hypothesis. The bottom line? They don’t fucking know.[1]

        The U.S. intelligence community would not be my first choice for investigating this. I think Biden must either not really expect them to find anything or hope that they’ll be able to find communications that point the needle one way or the other. If it’s the latter, we likely still won’t know because supporting evidence will be guarded to protect their methods. As always, evidence you can’t see is no evidence at all, which makes this exercise problematic at best.

    • May 31, 10:09 pm:

      • I’m a little unclear on the timing of this and I haven’t seen this elsewhere:

        source on

        Archived at 2021-05-31 21:49:04

        Thread Reader

        Lina Hidalgo Profile picture

        Lina Hidalgo

        Follow @LinaHidalgoTX

        31 May, 4 tweets, 1 min read

        Bookmark Save as PDF My Authors

        Texas House Democrats have killed SB7, the most suppressive voter suppression bill in the nation. The midnight deadline is 30min away and all together they have walked out and broken quorum—a remarkable, difficult action & the only one that would have kept this bill from passing

        What these courageous TX legislators is almost impossible to pull off. It means every person was on the same page. It’s unity. Their ability to kill the bill tonight shows unity is what it’ll take to protect voting rights and protect democracy. Hope US Senators are listening.

        The fight continues. Those who’ve been pandering, pretending that there was massive voter fraud, are in too deep now. They’ll likely try to create a special TX legislative session later this summer to continue the pandering.

        The bill the far right was pushing in Texas was making it easier to overturn elections. It was banning voting before 1pm on Sundays so Black church-goers couldn’t go vote right after church, and more. Enough. Celebrate today. Tomorrow, continue the fight.

        I assume that if this is true, it means the deadline was midnight this morning, not midnight tonight, on a holiday. But then I would have expected to see something. So I don’t know.

        On the other hand, Lina Hidalgo has Twitter’s blue check, meaning her identity has been verified. She identifies herself on the site as a Harris County judge.


“‘The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential,’ the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said last month,” but now “[t]he Biden administration is taking ‘a very close look’ at the possibility of vaccine passports for travel into and out of the United States, the homeland security secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, said on Friday [May 28, 2021].[2] In fact, it appears there was a bit of wriggle room:

President Biden in January did sign an executive order directing federal agencies to see how feasible it would be to connect COVID-19 vaccines to vaccine cards. 

“Consistent with applicable law, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of HHS, and the Secretary of Homeland Security (including through the Administrator of the TSA), in coordination with any relevant international organizations, shall assess the feasibility of linking COVID-19 vaccination to International Certificates of Vaccination or Prophylaxis (ICVP) and producing electronic versions of ICVPs,” the executive order reads in the Federal Register.[3]

Mayorkas’ statement appears consistent[4] with that order.[5]

I’m trying to think how this would likely work, and I assume that like a regular passport, a vaccine passport would have to be obtainable even if international travel is not imminently planned. Which would mean that, presumably, everyone who has been vaccinated could get one. And once they exist, barring actual laws preventing their use, it would be hard to prevent establishments that choose to verify vaccination status from requiring them. Despite Psaki’s assurance,[6] some states have indeed enacted restrictions, but most such bans seem to apply only to state and local governments, not businesses.[7]

Alexandra Villarreal, “US taking ‘very close look’ at vaccine passports for international travel,” Guardian, May 28, 2021,

Matthew Rozsa, “A virologist unpacks the lab leak hypothesis,” Salon, May 29, 2021,

Boris Johnson

James Martin, [Twitter thread], Thread Reader App, May 30, 2021,

Lizzie Roberts and Hayley Dixon, “Catholics question how twice-divorced Boris was allowed to marry Carrie Symonds in church,” Telegraph, May 30, 2021,

The car

Yesterday, the “Check VSC System” indication came back on. And the brake warning light.

The brakes have been acting strangely, in ways I don’t really know how to describe, but seemingly not unsafely. That I didn’t know how to describe what I was experiencing made it difficult to decide how to approach a mechanic about the problem.

I could see myself trying to explain that the brakes were making a squawking noise when I had my foot heavily on the brakes. Or that there was a weird tapping feel as I came to a stop. I’ve tried similar sorts of descriptions before. They don’t go over well.

In California, I had an actual hybrid mechanic. Whatever it was, I could just take it to him. Here in Pittsburgh, the only hybrid mechanics are new car dealers. So I wasn’t even sure whether I should take it to my regular mechanic or to the dealer.

But now the “Check VSC System” indication is on. So I have an appointment for the dealer to look at it on Wednesday. I still have the car, but won’t be driving it much in the meantime, and certainly not for Uber or Lyft. This is downtime I can’t afford.

Right now, I’m thinking I can’t get the RAV4 XLE Premium Hybrid AWD I’ve been planning to order later this year soon enough. But I don’t have the down payment money yet and even once I place the order, it will probably take six weeks to get the vehicle, which would be even more downtime that I can’t afford right now.

  1. [1]Matthew Rozsa, “A virologist unpacks the lab leak hypothesis,” Salon, May 29, 2021,
  2. [2]Alexandra Villarreal, “US taking ‘very close look’ at vaccine passports for international travel,” Guardian, May 28, 2021,
  3. [3]Kathryn Watson, “White House leaves vaccine ‘passports’ to private sector,” CBS News, March 30, 2021,
  4. [4]Alexandra Villarreal, “US taking ‘very close look’ at vaccine passports for international travel,” Guardian, May 28, 2021,
  5. [5]Kathryn Watson, “White House leaves vaccine ‘passports’ to private sector,” CBS News, March 30, 2021,
  6. [6]Kathryn Watson, “White House leaves vaccine ‘passports’ to private sector,” CBS News, March 30, 2021,
  7. [7]Jackie Drees, “Vaccine passports: 23 states with bans, limitations & green lights,” Becker’s Healthcare, May 26, 2021,

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