Freshman US lawmaker Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) dubbed the idea of a COVID-19 vaccine passport for those who have been inoculated against the novel coronavirus as US President Joe Biden's "Mark of the Beast."
In a video on social media by the NGO Right Wing Watch, Taylor Greene went further than the biblical allegory for the devil, and criticized the vaccine for being controlling and "fascism, or communism – whatever you want to call it." She further added that any company requiring one was engaging in what she dubbed "corporate communism."
The idea of a COVID-19 passport first made waves after being utilized in Israel. Known locally as a "green passport," the system has equipped people who have been immunized against COVID-19 with a special pass that allows them to participate in activities, such as going to gyms and restaurants and traveling.
The idea behind it is that using this system can allow the country to safely reopen after lockdowns.
Israel's vaccine rollout has been considered a success, with a majority of the country having been vaccinated. As such, it is unsurprising that others are following this example.
Marjorie Taylor Greene says that a vaccine passport is "Biden's Mark of the Beast" and that any company the requires one is engaging in "corporate communism." pic.twitter.com/XtTvqw83tU— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 30, 2021
One example is New York City, which is instituting a similar system titled the Excelsior Pass. Released Friday, this pass will also be available via mobile app with a secure QR code, just like Israel's green passport.
“Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's office said in a statement, according to The New York Post, adding that "an individual's data is kept secure and confidential at all times."
The rollout will also be included in the New York state capital, Albany, with the city's Times Union Center starting to use the program in April, as will New York City's Madison Square Garden.
“New Yorkers have proven they can follow public health guidance to beat back COVID, and the innovative Excelsior Pass is another tool in our new toolbox to fight the virus while allowing more sectors of the economy to reopen safely and keeping personal information secure,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to The New York Post report.
The pass is the first of its kind to be introduced in the United States. However, there are fears that some lawmakers, like Taylor Greene, will be opposed to similar measures.
Jerusalem Post Staff contributed to this report.