Oregon Governor, Kate Brown, wants her state to pave the way for adopting what some see as vaccine passports. On May 18, Brown issued, effective immediately, new “interim guidance for fully vaccinated individuals” that would effectively segregate those who are vaccinated and those who are not and make businesses responsible for policing the policy.
According to the guidance for the enforcement of masks and physical distancing, a business is defined as:
“an individual, organization or entity engaged in commercial, industrial, or professional activities, and includes the sectors listed in the Oregon Health Authority’s sector risk level guidance chart such as eating and drinking establishments, indoor recreation and fitness establishments, indoor entertainment establishments, retail stores, indoor and outdoor shopping centers and malls, outdoor recreation and fitness establishments, outdoor entertainment establishments, and personal services providers.”
Health Care settings, Transportation hubs, public transportation systems, schools, jails, youth detention centers, shelters, and transitional housing are all places that—under the new guidance—will continue to be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
The new Oregon policy does not seem to be following the updated CDC guidelines that allow vaccinated individuals to resume activities “that you did before the pandemic,” without masks and social distancing.
— Trey Rosser (@trosser) May 18, 2021
Jason Dudash, born and raised in Oregon, is furious about the path his state has taken in the past year. He happens to be in a position to do something about it because of his work with the Freedom Foundation. He is the Oregon State Director for the Foundation. Jason explained the hellish rollercoaster ride businesses have faced just to stay open during the Pandemic of 2020:
“People are so confused. Businesses in Oregon have been hammered. One day they are closed. The next they are allowed to open. 100’s of thousands of dollars to play the game, laying off staff all while employees are being paid more to stay home than get a stinkin’ job. Now we have a governor who wants businesses, places of faith, government facilities to play the role of vaccination police, checking peoples’ papers at the door. And if you don’t, OSHA will come in and break your back.”
Dudash explained his anguish over these non-sensical mandates:
“We are over a year into this pandemic, and while states across the country are opening up and returning to normal life, Governor Brown is having a hard time relinquishing her dictatorial authority. The state has not provided a single piece of data to justify this and has not bothered to explain what the order aims to accomplish or how long it will last. Common sense and experiences of the last year tell us that vaccination passports will only place additional burdens on already struggling businesses, violate individuals’ right to privacy, and unnecessarily pit neighbor against neighbor.”
“Gov. Brown is continuing to weaponize state agencies to break the backs of Oregonians who want to return to their normal lives and reclaim their most basic constitutional rights,” continued Dudash. “Rights that none of us realized were so at risk just a year ago.”
“We are one of the only states in the entire country still playing this game where the governor and her bureaucratic henchmen handpick winners and losers. The governor needs to immediately rescind this order and fully reopen the state. The Freedom Foundation was the first to sue Gov. Brown over her mask mandates last year and we’re prepared to fight her in court over this ludicrous vaccine passport, as well.”
Brown’s “emergency executive order for dealing with Covid-19 morphed into a statewide mask mandate written by the State Department of Health and was enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Authority(OSHA),” according to an article posted on the Freedom Foundation website.“
The Freedom Foundation filed a motion for stay in July 2020 and, later, in March 2021, in addition to a reply brief with the Oregon Court of Appeals in the case of Mooney v. Oregon. Dudash explained that the case argues that the “entire mask mandate put out by the Oregon Health Authority was improper because of the way they went about it. There are three statutes they must follow,” he continued, “And they failed to follow all three.”
None of the mask mandates or the plans for the current “vaccine passports” have been legislated. It has been unelected government entities, like the Oregon Health Authority, who are supposedly following CDC-issued guidelines, who have put these policies in place. The Governor has used her emergency orders to mandate these “entirely illogical” policies that are manifestly hurting the people of Oregon.
In this Lars Larson Show interview, Dudash articulates the position of the Freedom Foundation on the new rules for businesses. Dudash says the new policy brings into play the Fourth Amendment, violation of privacy concerns, and possible violations of equal protection law.
Businesses have flooded the Freedom Foundation phone lines with worry over navigating the legal repercussions associated with being appointed to the role of gatekeeper for the vaccinated or those who are not. With this policy, Dudash told UncoverDC, businesses and places of faith must “show the procedures in place to verify the status of vaccinated people. Someone needs to stand at the entrance to check your paperwork to prove the date, kind, and status of your vaccine.”
Dudash told Larson that this policy is effectively “promoting segregation.” He added,
“The party that we constantly hear preaching about equity and equality is, all of a sudden, promoting segregation. And that’s exactly what this is. The Governor here in Oregon, or perhaps we should refer to her as our Supreme Leader, is asking, no—requiring private businesses to act as her agents in creating two separate societies.” Furthermore, he argues that Governor Brown “does not have the authority to do this.”
Dudash states that it is not the duty of the private sector to manage public health. Moreover, he points out that Brown has not indicated any plan to compensate businesses for implementing such a policy. Speaking of Brown, Dudash said she is essentially telling businesses in Oregon, “You now need to violate our citizens’ rights on my behalf, without my help.”
In an April press conference, Press Secretary Jen Psaki stated that the Biden administration is “ditching plans for a federal vaccine passport. 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.”
The Freedom Foundation is not alone in its rejection of the policy. Senate Republican Leader Dru Draper issued a press release on the day of the Governor’s announcement to declare his displeasure with her edict. House Republican Leader Christine Drazan joined him with her own letter to Brown.
Dudash says that the Freedom Foundation is doing its homework now in the event they need to sue because of the vaccination paperwork policy. “In the meantime,” he said, “the idea is to raise Hell, push back, and hopefully rescind it immediately.”
Some say it is the work of the Freedom Foundation that has forced government unions to spend “$15.3 million less on Oregon elections in 2020 than they did in 2016,” according to Dudash. The Foundation has successfully helped thousands of union members leave the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as referenced in this March 2021 National Review article.
UncoverDC mentioned the Freedom Foundation’s mission in an article on The Women of Watts in early April. It referenced the Foundation’s lawsuit to help parents fight the unions because of the continued school closures in LA.
In addition to the Oregon Governor taking steps to institute vaccine passports, on Thursday, American Airlines announced it would add vaccine passport capability to its app. The vaccine verification feature will be available in its VeriFLY part of the app.
“American Airlines is working with mobile health partner Daon and its app VeriFLY to help customers verify they are vaccinated and ready to fly before they even step foot in an airport. Customers using the VeriFLY app now have the option to securely upload their vaccine documentation for travel to the Bahamas, El Salvador, and Guatemala.”