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The Epoch Times

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the federal government and his agency will evaluate whether to use a “vaccine passport”-type system for travelers coming into and out of the United States.

The DHS is the agency that oversees the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which screens passengers at all U.S. airports.

In an interview with ABC News on Friday, Mayorkas said that the United States is “taking a very close look” about the possibility of requiring vaccine passports for international travel.

“We’re taking a very close look at that, you know, one of our principles that has guided us throughout this pandemic is the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and making sure that any passport that we provide for vaccinations is accessible to all and that no one is disenfranchised,” Mayorkas said, referring to restrictions being implemented during the pandemic.

The secretary said that such a system—which has been flagged by civil liberties groups as a potential invasion of privacy—is designed to get people vaccinated against COVID-19.

“There’s an underlying point here, of course, which is everyone should get vaccinated,” Mayorkas said.

The European Union, some Asian governments, and the airline industry are scrambling to develop COVID-19 vaccine passports to help restart international travel. Those governments working on systems that would allow travelers to use mobile phone apps to prove they’ve been vaccinated, helping them avoid quarantine requirements at their destinations.

Mayorkas’ comments may run counter to what White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier this month when she reiterated that the Biden administration still does not support any federal vaccine passport-type systems.

“It has not changed our view that the federal government will not be playing that role,” Psaki said in response to a question from reporters earlier this month. “The private sector may, and it may prompt the private sector moving forward on actions, which is where we think it is appropriately situated.”


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