WHO’S CALLING THE SHOTS?

Vaccine passports are un-American

“We acknowledge the importance of shared technical standards and verification methods, under the framework of the IHR (2005), to facilitate seamless international travel, interoperability, and recognizing digital solutions and non-digital solutions, including proof of vaccinations. We support continued international dialogue and collaboration on the establishment of trusted global digital health networks as part of the efforts to strengthen prevention and response to future pandemics, that should capitalize and build on the success of the existing standards and digital COVID-19 certificates.” -Point 23, Bali Declaration (emphasis added).[i]

A few times a year, leaders of 20 of the richest countries in the Western world meet informally to discuss the global economy. The meetings are meant to build relations and create a space where leaders can mingle away from the public eye… usually. In mid-November 2022, this meeting took place in Bali, Indonesia, creating a sudden and unheard-of news splash when the group made a sweeping declaration that included an endorsement of proof of vaccinations for global travel. President Joseph Biden agreed. And to show his enthusiasm, he posted the Bali Declaration on Whitehouse.gov.[ii]

The problem? This is not the will of the vast majority of American people. Our White House has misrepresented us, showing increasing willingness to bypass the American democratic process and the Constitution. They’ve created international “nonbinding” agreements, declarations, and conventions that should have the consent of the U.S. Senate, because they affect the daily life and livelihood of American citizens and will reshape the country’s relationship to the world.

Former White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told Americans in a carefully worded statement in 2021 that the White House would not get behind vaccine passports.

“The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential.”[iii]

So why did President Biden sign on to a declaration that acknowledges the importance of “proof of vaccination” for “seamless international travel”? This position is more consistent with the off-the-cuff statement by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Alejandro Mayorkas, that the U.S. was “taking a very close look” at a vax pass for international travel, during an interview with Good Morning America in 2021.[iv] That statement was quickly clarified to get in line with the official story told by Psaki to the press.[v] But here we are in Bali.

Is the president bypassing the voters he is accountable to by making international agreements outside of our federal system? Can Americans rest assured that the “trusted global digital health networks” the president is supporting wouldn’t be used to trample our constitutional rights?

Significance of the Bali Declaration

The gathering President Biden attended is known as the G20, which collectively represents “around 80% of the world’s economic output, twothirds of global population, and three-quarters of international trade.”[vi] The G20 does not directly create international law at their meetings, but attendees weave a tapestry of intent and plans that they take back to their home countries that informs policy and law moving forward. One scholar described it as “a process. It is a mechanism to work through intense policy disputes, for leaders to meet and agree on coordinated policies, and to provide leadership on difficult global challenges.”[vii] There’s no central leadership, home office, or staff. Everything is done outside of traditional legal processes and international law, by consensus, and it’s claimed there’s nothing the G20 can do if a participant goes against consensus. But let’s be real, if the G20 represents 80% of the world’s economy, it’s safe to say members have some leverage to sway opinions through economic force.

Would that leverage be enough if we had an American president who declined to participate?

Most U.S. states prohibit vaccine passports

President Biden is not representing most Americans when he supports proof of vaccination for travel or any other activities.

As of November 2022, 20 states have banned vaccine credentials. These states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming. Only six states support vaccine passports through law: California, Hawaii, Illinois, New York, Oregon, and Washington.[viii]

It is clear most Americans do not want vaccine passports or proof of vaccination to affect their rights. The U.S. Constitution protects the right to travel as well as privacy and informed consent. A vaccine passport for travel cannot stand if the U.S. Constitution is honored.

So, what does an international, “non-binding,” declaration have to do with state law? In short, these agreements set the stage for state laws to change or be bypassed.

Let’s talk about your photo ID

What does your photo ID have to do with your vaccine status or ability to travel? Many Americans have no idea the groundwork for vaccination passports (and a national ID) has already been laid. The U.S. REAL ID Act was signed into law in 2005, as part of the sweeping homeland security blitz after 9/11. Does your driver’s license or state ID have a star on it? If so, you are marked as “REAL ID” compliant. But what does that mean? It means a whole lot more than getting on an airplane or visiting a federal building, which is what we were told it was all about.

The driver license or the photo identification card are state issued documents. In the name of the War on Terror, the REAL ID Act created additional federal requirements to be laid on top of these state verifications, but only if the states adopted the federal law. Even though the law was passed in 2005 — more than 15 years ago — it hasn’t fully taken effect yet. This is because there was massive resistance to what many Americans rightfully saw as a national ID card that obliterated privacy and other constitutionally protected rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) summed it up well in a white paper called Identity Crisis: What Digital Driver’s Licenses Could Mean for Privacy, Equity, and Freedom:

“After 9/11, the highly questionable notion took hold that terrorist attacks could be thwarted by tightening up the standards for issuance of IDs. At the same time, conservative antipathy toward immigrants led many people who were normally skeptical of government mandates and the creeping bureaucratic regimentation of American life to embrace the expansion of identity systems. The post-9/11 effort to make driver’s licenses more secure was bungled by the Congressional leadership of the time, who rammed through the poorly designed Real ID Act of 2005. That bill, which was passed with no hearings, debate, or testimony from state department of motor vehicles (DMV) officials or other experts and was attached at the last minute to must-pass emergency legislation, imposed a cumbersome and unnecessary system of identity and citizenship proofing on state DMVs.”

The ACLU went on to emphasize that the state driver licensing system was set up for a limited purpose: “to certify who is competent to drive a car on the public roads.” The federal REAL ID act exploited that existing system in the states to claim it could also be used to stop terrorist attacks. Nothing in the Real ID Act limits any additional expansions of federal requirements or power, giving the Department of Homeland security a blank check with your face on it. “The legislation is vague enough to leave the door open for the United States government to first require you to have a Real ID, and then decide you need a host of vaccinations to obtain or retain it.”[ix]

States like Maine and Pennsylvania enacted laws prohibiting the REAL ID being tied to their state identification system, citing concerns about Americans’ privacy.[x] Maine’s Attorney General, Matthew Dunlap, said in 2014, “You may as well just repeal the Fourth Amendment.” Unfortunately, fast forward five years and a new administration put up the white flag, with Governor Paul LePage signing a bill to comply with the federal government’s wishes.[xi] It took 17 years, but the federal government wore down and convinced every state legislature to comply with the federal law.[xii] Senator Bill Diamond from Maine painted the picture:  “We can get into these philosophical debates, but people have to get on airplanes.”[xiii] In other words, no matter how many real concerns there are about privacy, the Fourth Amendment, and other constitutional rights, paradoxically, the fundamental right to travel is being destroyed by the necessity and lure of travel itself.

The newest implementation date is May 3, 2023, where Americans will be told it is required for their state identification to be “REAL ID compliant,” for air travel and access to federal facilities.

Digital identities on the horizon

Cell phones have become so common that many people no longer have land lines. The Supreme Court of the United States has compared them to an arm or a leg of a human being. Digital identities are about to displace photo ID cards in the same way.

Check in with your state to see if it is part of the pilot program with Apple to adopt driver licenses and state IDs in the AppleWallet, which can then be presented to the TSA at airports.[xiv] The first states to test this tech are Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, and Maryland.

Microsoft launched an identification platform in the spring of 2021 using blockchain technology for a decentralized identity system.[xv] The “Azure Active Directory verifiable credentials” is like a digital wallet, but instead of financial information it holds personal identifiers and documents. The U.K. National Health Service is one of the testers. “And the long term, the company says, it hopes the system could be used around the world for everything from renting an apartment to establishing identity for refugees who are struggling without documents. A dream of virtually all decentralized identification efforts.”[xvi]

Digital identity and health credentialing brewing for years

To understand the significance of the Bali Declaration and how it illuminates a global goal of linking health status to personal identification, you must know a little about the United Nations (U.N.) (the WHO’s parent organization) and their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The word “sustainable” is used a whopping 58 times in the 52 points of the Bali Declaration and the goals are referenced twelve times.

So, what are the SDGs, where did they come from, and what do they mean for health policy?

The SDGs are part of a resolution named “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015 that was agreed to by the U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power, under the direction of former President Obama. [xvii] Powers now enjoys an appointment under President Biden as well, as many former Obama appointees do, reinforcing the commitment to this “nonbinding” international agreement that did not go through a constitutional Senate approval process.[xviii] The SDGs are seventeen economic, social, and environmental goals adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015, to be achieved by 2030. Two of them, Goals 3 and 16, are relevant to health and identity.

Digital identification and credentialing is part of the SDGs. Its seed can be found in Goal 16: “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.” Target 16.9 to achieve this goal is “By 2030, provide legal identity for all, including birth registration.”[xix] This is a prime example of a policy where there is a vision, but the tech has to catch up.

The United Nations Strategy for Legal Identity for All[xx], developed by the U.N.’s Legal Identity for All Expert Group, explains further:

“5. Legal identity is widely acknowledged to be catalytic for achieving at least ten of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Data generated from civil registration and population registers support the measurement of over 60 SDG indicators. Legal identity has a critical role to ensure the global community upholds its promise of leaving no one behind as espoused in the 2030 Agenda.

  1. Equally importantly, good governance as promoted by the United Nations and the World Bank invariably includes ensuring the proper and universal registration of the occurrence of all vital events (births, deaths, marriages, divorces…), issuance of certificates that serve as legal tenders and introduce the lifetime legal identity of the individual and the production of comprehensive, regular, and reliable vital statistics based on universal civil registration of vital events.”

(Interestingly, the well-known group United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), co-chairs the identity expert group. Keep that in mind next time you see a donation jar.)

Here is how the U.N. Identity Expert Group defines digital identity:

“The notion is generally understood as unique and constant identity – a virtual identification card – assigned to individuals that authenticates them as users of all their portable digital devices, both in the digital world, such as online banking, commerce and also in the physical world whenever such identification may be required (for example to authenticate their identity at a health-care center, or when asked by the police). It involves passwords, cryptographic key, biometrics such as fingerprint or iris scanning, which are increasingly available on contemporary portable digital devices.[xxi] (emphasis added).

It’s telling that the examples the U.N. group cites are health care and law enforcement. These topics were top-of-mind when creating the digital identity technology and policy.

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The World Bank has been funding digital identity program development since 2017 as part of their Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative. According to their website, “The initiative comprises parts of the World Bank Group working on digital development, social protection, health, governance, gender, social inclusion, legal, financial sector development, private sector development, regional integration, data, and forced displacement.”[xxii]

Technology exists to link proof of vaccination to an identification document

Caryn Seidman Becker, the CEO of CLEAR, a biometrics security company used by the TSA[xxiii] which has had an anti-terrorist technology certification from DHS since 2010,[xxiv] can tell us about linking vaccination status to digital identity credentials:

“CLEAR was born out of 9/11, and it was about a public-private partnership, leveraging innovation to enhance homeland security and delight customers. And that was really the beginning of Screening 1.0. And just like screening was forever changed post-9/11, in a post-COVID environment you’re going to see screening and public safety significantly shift, but this time it’s beyond airports, right? It’s sports stadiums, it’s retail… it’s office buildings, it’s restaurants. And so, while we started with travel at our core, we’re a biometrics, secure identity platform, where it’s always been about attaching your identity to your boarding pass at the airport, or your ticket to get into a sports stadium, or your credit card to buy a beer. And so now with the launch of CLEAR Health Pass, it’s about attaching your identity to your COVID-related health insights for employers, for employees, for customers. Everybody wants to know that each other’s safe to start to reopen businesses, and get America moving.”[xxv] (emphasis added).

When COVID hit, CLEAR teamed up with CommonPass, a health app that lets users access vaccine records. CLEAR already had access to individually identifying biometrics, health data aggregators, and COVID test results, and the CommonPass partnership linked data from all vaccinations. [xxvi]

In the United States, the legal legs upon which vaccine credentialing can stand go at least as far back as HIPAA, and were reinforced by the REAL ID Act. As told by health privacy expert Twila Brase, R.N., “The 1996 HIPAA law mandated a Unique Patient Identifier (UPI), but Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) froze funding for its creation in 1999. If implemented, health care access could become an “official purpose” for which the “for federal purposes” REAL ID cards would be required.”[xxvii]

But we all know vaccine credentialing is not limited to the United States and is poised to be an international standard, as evidenced by the Bali Declaration, which was the summation of many years of planning and dreaming. The Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, and the Global Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are among the founding organizations of an international organization named ID2020, dedicated to creating a global solution for digital identification. The Good Health Pass Initiative was launched by ID2020, which includes companies like IBM and Mastercard and CLEAR, to consolidate the efforts toward COVID-19 credentialing.[xxviii]

Agenda 2030 health goals

SDG Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda is, “Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.” It includes targets such as strengthening capacity for “early warning, risk reduction, and management of national and global health risks,” supporting research and development of vaccines and medicines, and achieving universal health coverage[xxix]. The people who agreed to this agenda years ago and influenced policy decisions in America, whether elected or appointed or consulted, are the reason Americans are now wondering if their health decisions will affect their jobs, education, social lives, health care, and parenting rights.

The ACLU white paper shined a light on another truth: “Identifying people is sometimes necessary, but it’s also an exercise in power.”

Conclusion

Right now, people around the world are trapped in a snow globe, in a blizzard of federal laws, global agreements, public-private partnerships, Facebook likes, tweets, and health tracking apps. The glass is our fear, trapping us in. When the storm settles, we will look around at the invisible walls of our prison. Many will wonder how they got there, not seeing the common origin and interconnection of all those things that blinded and distracted us while we simply tried to survive.

“How did I get here? This is not my beautiful house.”

As health freedom advocates can see, this technology and plan were already envisioned, but the COVID pandemic put the plans into hyperdrive when emergency declarations across states, countries, and the international PHEIC declared by the WHO triggered automatic spending and unlocked taxpayer dollars to flow. The roll out of safe, cashless transactions, contract tracing apps, and the convenient digital COVID shot records acclimated the public to this technology. Americans (and others around the globe) have gotten used to carrying their digital identification marks everywhere they go.

We are now being told a proof-of-vaccination certification will stop the spread of a virus. It’s an easy story to sell, because the groundwork of sacrificing privacy for the promise of security was laid with the laws passed in the wake of 9/11 as part of the War on Terror, as described in SHF blogs Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear, and Is the Government Weaponizing Data? And You are an experiment in consent and choice. This type of policy is the essence of public health policy in America and across the globe. The message of the United Nations, through the World Health Organization,[xxx] UNICEF,[xxxi] and other mouthpieces,[xxxii] is, “No one is safe until everyone is safe.” What is their idea of safety?

The 2001 PATRIOT Act, painted as necessary to protect Americans from terrorists coming from other countries, very easily shifted to a biosecurity infrastructure full of personal, genetic, biometric, and health data of American citizens.[xxxiii] In 2020, DHS’s Office of Biometric Identity Management upgraded its storage of biometric data of Americans and others around the globe from its own IDENT system to an Amazon-owned cloud server.[xxxiv]  and the biometric identifiers are already being linked to the photo id through facial recognition technology and CLEAR pre-check at airports, as rolled out by the TSA.

We are in the fight of our lives and the lives of our children. Health advocates worked hard to get the U.S. House of Representatives filled with elected officials who understand health freedom and in this coming term, our voice will be heard and amplified through the halls of Congress. We need to keep true to our values, shout health freedom from the rooftops, and keep our health decisions as close to home as possible.

Your freedom requires your participation and your actions will co-create our tomorrow and the landscape for our children. Your decision to opt out of programs that violate the freedom you want for your children is the strongest form of activism you can exercise. When we reach 11.5 million people taking action in the U.S. for health freedom, the cultural shift prioritizing privacy and informed consent will not fail. Join us in spreading the message. As for global alliances such as G20, they have no home and no loyalty to any people group. It’s time to call on our representatives to demand loyalty to their constituents by standing down on any efforts to thwart the health and welfare of Americans.

Steps You Can Take

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Step One: Let U.S. lawmakers know that Americans will make health care decisions at home. Join over 62,000 other advocates in signing the Stand for Health Freedom WHO Petition, which can be shown to the new Congress once they are sworn in January 2023, so they know this is a top issue!
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Step Two: Did you know the CDC asked for a budget increase of over 300% for the coming year? Tell our lawmakers this is unacceptable by sending them a personal message.
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Step Three: Get to know your U.S. Representative and Senator. Call their offices. Schedule a time to meet them. Listen to their town halls. Talk to the incoming U.S. Representatives about the World Health Organization and global health credentialing plans.

References & Sources

Hidden Toggle
[i] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/16/g20-bali-leaders-declaration/

[ii] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/16/g20-bali-leaders-declaration/

[iii] https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/546705-white-house-rules-out-involvement-in-vaccine-passports/

[iv] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-mayorkas-requiring-vaccine-passports-international-travel

[v] https://www.axios.com/2021/05/28/biden-covid-vaccine-passport-mayorkas-travel

[vi] https://www.gihub.org/about/about/

[vii] https://www.cigionline.org/publications/g7-g8-g20-evolution-global-governance/

[viii] To read more, and keep up to date on state laws, check out Ballotopedia.org for a great user-friendly list of proof-of-vaccination requirements throughout the 50 states, complete with interactive map and timelines. https://ballotpedia.org/State_government_policies_about_vaccine_requirements_(vaccine_passports)

[ix] https://vaxxter.com/real-ids-cards-and-government-tracking/

[x] https://iapp.org/news/a/why-some-states-wont-comply-with-real-id-requirements/

[xi] https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/02/mainers-can-now-get-real-id-compliant-drivers-licenses/

[xii] https://cis.org/Arthur/DHS-Announces-50-States-Are-Compliant-REAL-ID-Act

[xiii] https://iapp.org/news/a/why-some-states-wont-comply-with-real-id-requirements/

[xiv] https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/09/apple-announces-first-states-to-adopt-drivers-licenses-and-state-ids-in-wallet/

[xv] https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-decentralized-id-blockchain/

[xvi] https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-decentralized-id-blockchain/

[xvii] https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf?OpenElement

[xviii] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/16/most-bidens-top-white-house-staff-worked-obama-and-female/7706857002/

[xix] https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf?OpenElement

[xx] https://unstats.un.org/legal-identity-agenda/documents/UN-Strategy-for-LIA.pdf

[xxi] https://unstats.un.org/legal-identity-agenda/documents/UN-Strategy-for-LIA.pdf

 

 

 

References & Sources

[i] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/16/g20-bali-leaders-declaration/

[ii] https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/11/16/g20-bali-leaders-declaration/

[iii] https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/546705-white-house-rules-out-involvement-in-vaccine-passports/

[iv] https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-mayorkas-requiring-vaccine-passports-international-travel

[v] https://www.axios.com/2021/05/28/biden-covid-vaccine-passport-mayorkas-travel

[vi] https://www.gihub.org/about/about/

[vii] https://www.cigionline.org/publications/g7-g8-g20-evolution-global-governance/

[viii] To read more, and keep up to date on state laws, check out Ballotopedia.org for a great user-friendly list of proof-of-vaccination requirements throughout the 50 states, complete with interactive map and timelines. https://ballotpedia.org/State_government_policies_about_vaccine_requirements_(vaccine_passports)

[ix] https://vaxxter.com/real-ids-cards-and-government-tracking/

[x] https://iapp.org/news/a/why-some-states-wont-comply-with-real-id-requirements/

[xi] https://www.pressherald.com/2019/07/02/mainers-can-now-get-real-id-compliant-drivers-licenses/

[xii] https://cis.org/Arthur/DHS-Announces-50-States-Are-Compliant-REAL-ID-Act

[xiii] https://iapp.org/news/a/why-some-states-wont-comply-with-real-id-requirements/

[xiv] https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2021/09/apple-announces-first-states-to-adopt-drivers-licenses-and-state-ids-in-wallet/

[xv] https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-decentralized-id-blockchain/

[xvi] https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-decentralized-id-blockchain/

[xvii] https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf?OpenElement

[xviii] https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/06/16/most-bidens-top-white-house-staff-worked-obama-and-female/7706857002/

[xix] https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N15/291/89/PDF/N1529189.pdf?OpenElement

[xx] https://unstats.un.org/legal-identity-agenda/documents/UN-Strategy-for-LIA.pdf

[xxi] https://unstats.un.org/legal-identity-agenda/documents/UN-Strategy-for-LIA.pdf

[xxii] https://id4d.worldbank.org/about-us

[xxiii] https://www.clearme.com/

[xxiv] https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2012/06/26/480365/14017/en/CLEAR-Receives-SAFETY-Act-Certification-by-the-U-S-Department-of-Homeland-Security-for-Its-Expedited-Traveler-Biometric-Identification-Technology-Solution.html

[xxv] https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1762-james-corbett-produces-a-biosecurity-data-dump/, at 9:45

[xxvi] https://www.axios.com/2021/03/05/vaccine-passports-pandemic

[xxvii] https://www.cchfreedom.org/issue.php/39/

[xxviii] https://drive.google.com/file/d/1oigSnN9IDa-03uPBwgI7z-woBiiwun4s/view

[xxix] https://www.uhc2030.org/fileadmin/uploads/uhc2030/Documents/About_UHC2030/mgt_arrangemts___docs/UHC2030_Official_documents/UHC2030_vision_paper_WEB2.pdf

[xxx] https://www.dw.com/en/tedros-ghebreyesus-no-one-is-safe-until-we-are-all-safe/video-59971534

[xxxi] https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/no-one-safe-until-everyone-safe-why-we-need-global-response-covid-19

[xxxii] https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=891318674969837

[xxxiii] https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-1762-james-corbett-produces-a-biosecurity-data-dump/; https://www.corbettreport.com/covid-911-from-homeland-security-to-biosecurity/

[xxxiv] https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2019/06/dhs-move-biometric-data-hundreds-millions-people-amazon-cloud/157837/

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