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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — In a U.S. Senate committee hearing on July 28, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz introduced two amendments, one of which would stop the federal government from implementing COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” and the other would block the government from tracking Americans’ vaccine status in a federal database.
Sen. Cruz, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, participated in a markup of three bills during the July 28 hearing, including one bill called the “International Pandemic Preparedness and COVID-19 Response Act,” which would create a “global health initiative fund.”
Cruz proposed two amendments to the “preparedness” bill to prevent the federal government from imposing a vaccine passport for COVID-19 injections, forcing Americans to show proof of having received the experimental jab in order to participate in ordinary activities.
“My view is there should be no mandates, no mask mandates, no vaccine mandates, and no vaccine passports, and what my amendment focuses on is just the last piece of it — vaccine passports,” Cruz told members of the senate committee. “I will say, finally, this should be a proposition that is bipartisan.”
Noting that “there are a lot of Americans across the country that are very frustrated at the government responses to COVID-19,” Cruz said that “when government scientists and health experts allow politics to trump the science, it does enormous damage to the willingness of the American people to believe anything they have to say.”
The senator blasted government health officials and agencies, specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Dr. Anthony Fauci, White House COVID czar and director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NAIAD) who Cruz said has taken “virtually every position on virtually every subject under the sun.”
Cruz also slammed the CDC’s recent flip-flop on mask guidance, saying that recommending “fully vaccinated” Americans wear masks is based in politics, not science.
“As soon as the CDC said that, we saw Democrats putting on masks, not because the vaccine suddenly stopped working yesterday … it was working two days ago,” Cruz said, calling mask-wearing “a virtue signal of submissiveness.”
“I think the decision yesterday by the CDC to reverse its guidance and mandate masks for vaccinated people is the kind of decision that is infuriating people across this country,” Cruz remarked, adding that “[a] year and a half ago, the CDC was one of if not the most respected scientific and medical organization in the country.”
“Today,” Cruz argued, “the credibility of the CDC is in tatters because leadership of the CDC has been willing to allow science to become politicized.”
Cruz said the amendments to forbid vaccine passports and a government database tracking those who haven’t gotten the shot stem from his belief in individual liberty.
“I believe in freedom,” the Texas senator said, adding that “[i]t’s your d**n choice whether you get vaccinated.”
“My view on COVID is, it is serious,” the senator said, arguing that “[w]e should take serious steps to combat it.”
“But we’ve also seen stupid policies,” Cruz said. “We’ve seen lockdowns across this country that have shut down small businesses, destroyed restaurants, destroyed bars, destroyed generational businesses. We’ve seen schools shut down, tens of millions of children sent home for over a year, children who are falling behind academically, who are falling behind in reading, who are falling behind in math.”
Cruz noted that lockdowns and other COVID-19 related restrictions and mandates have had a disproportionate impact on poor and minority Americans.
“[T]he children being hurt are disproportionately low income,” the senator said. “They’re disproportionately Hispanic and African American, and nonetheless, the edicts to shut down schools have continued. They were utterly unjustifiable.”
The negative impact of harsh COVID-19 policies on minority communities has not generated backlash against the mandates from many in politics or the media.
While politicians and media pundits have routinely argued that requiring picture identification in order to vote is a “racist” policy that disadvantages poor and minority Americans, they have been favorable to forcing Americans to show proof of having gotten an experimental COVID-19 injection to participate in society, regardless of the fact that a considerable proportion of black and hispanic Americans are more likely than whites to refuse the jab.
Last week, Boston Democrat mayor Kim Janey slammed New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s recently-announced plan to require New Yorkers to use COVID-19 vaccine passports to enter public places such as restaurants.
“If you’re unvaccinated, unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in many things,” de Blasio said during his announcement of the policy, which will see enforcement beginning in mid-September.
“It’s time for people to see vaccination as literally necessary to living a good, full, and healthy life,” the mayor added.
But Janey took issue with the plan, comparing the exclusionary policy with historic slavery and segregation.
“There’s a long history in this country of people needing to show their papers,” Janey, who is black, told a Boston-based ABC affiliate.
Boston mayor compares NYC’s vaccine mandate to slavery https://t.co/DG1ahP4Mre
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 4, 2021
“During slavery, post-slavery, as recent as you know what immigrant population has to go through here … we want to make sure that we are not doing anything that would further create a barrier for residents of Boston or disproportionally impact BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] communities.”
According to data reported by the San Francisco-based Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) that produces reporting, analysis, and polling on health care issues, “As of August 2, less than half of Black and Hispanic people have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in the vast majority of states reporting data.”
“The vaccination rate for Black people is less than 50% in 38 of 42 reporting states, including seven states where less than a third of Black people have received one or more doses,” the KFF report continued. “Similarly, less than half of Hispanic people have received a COVID-19 vaccine dose in 32 of 40 reporting states, including nine states where less than a third have received at least one dose.”
Since the July 28 hearing, Cruz has reiterated his view in many interviews and tweets, including on his podcast Verdict hosted by Daily Wire host and author Michael Knowles, that there should not be any COVID-19-related mandates.
No COVID mandates.
No mask mandates.
No vaccine mandates.
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 7, 2021
On the podcast. Cruz expressed the concern of many Americans that amid a return to mask mandates and the introduction of vaccine passports, a new round of lockdowns may be imminent.
“I think it is now abundantly clear that the politicians who ordered shutdowns committed a catastrophic mistake. A mistake that I hope people study for decades, never to make again because they destroyed lives, they destroyed businesses, they hurt children profoundly,” Cruz said.
“And the problem is, Joe Biden and the Democrats are eager to do it again.”