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Microsoft, Big Tech Coalition Developing Rockefeller Funded COVID Passports

‘The most significant vaccination effort in history’

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A coalition of big tech companies, including Microsoft is developing a COVID passport, with the expectation that a digital document linked to vaccination status will be required to travel and get access to basic services.

The group is calling itself the Vaccination Credential Initiative (VCI), and includes Microsoft, Salesforce and Oracle.

The US health provider Mayo Clinic is also involved in the project, which is being described as “the most significant vaccination effort in the history of the United States.”

The idea is now a familiar one. Anyone who has been vaccinated will receive a QR code that can be stored on their mobile phone in the wallet app. Those without phones will have access to a printed version.

We have previously reported on the development of this so called ‘CommonPass’, which also has backing from the World Economic Forum, and now more details have emerged.

Screenshot: ‘CommonPass’ outline – click to enlarge

“The goal of the Vaccination Credential Initiative is to empower individuals with digital access to their vaccination records,” said Paul Meyer, CEO of non-profit The Commons Project, also involved in the project.

Meyer said that the document will allow people “to safely return to travel, work, school, and life, while protecting their data privacy.”

Meyer said the coalition is working with several governments, and expects standards to be adopted that will see mandatory negative tests or proof of vaccination, in order to re-engage in society.

“Individuals are going to need to have to produce vaccination records for a lot of aspects of getting back to life as normal,” he added. “We live in a globally connected world. We used to anyway — and we hope to again.” 

The Financial Times reports that The Commons Project has received funding for the project from the Rockefeller Foundation, and that it is being implemented by all three major airline alliances.

The Rockefeller Foundation has previously touted its plans for a ‘Covid-19 data and commons digital platform’ as well as a desire to “launch a Covid Community Healthcare Corps for testing and contact tracing.”

“Coordination of such a massive program should be treated as a wartime effort,” the foundation states on its website, adding that there should be “a public/private bipartisan Pandemic Testing Board established to assist and serve as a bridge between local, state, and federal officials with the logistical, investment and political challenges this operation will inevitably face.”

Screenshot: Rockefeller Foundation ‘Covid action plan’ website
Screenshot: Rockefeller Foundation ‘Covid action plan’ website

The group also wants to see a global standardisation of the so called vaccine passports, noting that “The current vaccination record system does not readily support convenient access, control and sharing of verifiable vaccination records.”

The coalition of big tech firms is looking to “customize all aspects of the vaccination management lifecycle and integrate closely with other coalition members’ offerings, which will help us all get back to public life,” said Bill Patterson, an executive vice president at Salesforce.

“With a single platform to help deliver safe and continuous operations and deepen trust with customers and employees, this coalition will be crucial to support public health and wellbeing,” Patterson claimed.

Mike Sicilia, executive vice president of Oracle’s Global Business Units added that “This process needs to be as easy online banking. We are committed to working collectively with the technology and medical communities, as well as global governments.”

Ken Mayer, founder and CEO of Safe Health also stated that the VCI “will enable application developers to create privacy-preserving health status verification solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into existing ticketing workflows.”

Put more simply, it will “help get concerts and sporting events going again,” Mayer said.

The context seems clear. Those without the COVID passport will not be allowed to travel or engage in social events.

Hundreds of Tech companies are scrambling over themselves to develop COVID passport systems.

As we reported last month, the IATA, the world’s largest air transport lobby group, expects its COVID travel pass app to be fully rolled out in the first months of 2021.

A further ‘COVID passport’ app called the AOKpass from travel security firm International SOS is currently undergoing trials  between Abu Dhabi and Pakistan.

We have exhaustively documented the privacy and rights concerns associated with the move toward adoption, and more importantly the global standardisation of so called COVID passports.

UK based human rights group Privacy International has warned that if “immunity” passports are issued by some governments, it could signal a creep toward “digital identity schemes” and other mandatory ID schemes. 

“Once you have multiple uses (e.g. access to services) in multiple domains (i.e. public sector, private sector), in multiple countries (i.e. travel), then we are approaching a global identity document needed to live your life,” the group warned.

Sweden based human rights group The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) warned recently that 61 per cent of countries have used COVID restrictions “that were concerning from a democracy and human rights perspective.”

Anna Beduschi, an academic from Exeter University, commented on the potential move toward vaccine passports by EU, noting that it “poses essential questions for the protection of data privacy and human rights.”

Beduschi added that the vaccine passports may “create a new distinction between individuals based on their health status, which can then be used to determine the degree of freedoms and rights they may enjoy.”

The EU’s own data protection chief Wojciech Wiewiórowski recently labeled the idea of an immunity passport “extreme” and has repeatedly said it is alarming, and ‘disgusting’.

A report compiled last year by AI research body the Ada Lovelace Institute said so called ‘immunity’ passports “pose extremely high risks in terms of social cohesion, discrimination, exclusion and vulnerability.”

Sam Grant, campaign manager at the civili liberties advocacy group Liberty has warned that “any form of immunity passport risks creating a two-tier system in which some of us have access to freedoms and support while others are shut out.”

“These systems could result in people who don’t have immunity potentially being blocked from essential public services, work or housing – with the most marginalised among us hardest hit,” Grant further warned.

“This has wider implications too because any form of immunity passport could pave the way for a full ID system – an idea which has repeatedly been rejected as incompatible with building a rights-respecting society,” Grant further urged.

Gloria Guevara, CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), has also slammed the passports as “discriminatory”, saying “We should never require the vaccination to get a job or to travel.”

Speaking at a Reuters event, the head of the WTTC also condemned airline Qantas for their previous assertion that unvaccinated people would not be allowed on their aircraft.

 “It will take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the global population, particularly those in less advanced countries, or in different age groups, therefore we should not discriminate against those who wish to travel but have not been vaccinated,” Guevara noted.

Nevertheless, the spectre of so called ‘immunity passports’ is looming globally.

As noted above, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has penned a letter to EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, demanding that the Commission should ‘standardise’ a vaccine passport across all member countries, and that it should be required for people to travel throughout the area, further outlining that “Persons who have been vaccinated should be free to travel.”

The request is set to be debated in the coming days.

Vaccine passports have previously been touted by the EU, with officials suggesting back in April that visa applicants would also be required to be vaccinated.

EU countries including SpainEstoniaIceland, and Belgium have all indicated that they are open to some form of vaccine passports, as well as sharing the data across borders.

Denmark recently announced that it is rolling out a ‘Covid passport’, to allow those who have taken the vaccine to engage in society without any restrictions.

Poland has also announced plans to introduce vaccine passports, which will allow those who have taken the COVID shot greater freedoms than those who have not.

Having left the EU, Britain would not be part of any standardised European scheme, however it has now confirmed that it is rolling out vaccine passports, despite previous denials that it would do so.

Recently, the government in Ontario, Canada admitted that it is exploring ‘immunity passports’ in conjunction with restrictions on travel and access to social venues for the unvaccinated.

Last month, Israel announced that citizens who get the COVID-19 vaccine will be given ‘green passports’ that will enable them to attend venues and eat at restaurants.

litany of other government and travel industry figures in both the US, Britain and beyond have suggested that ‘COVID passports’ are coming in order for ‘life to get back to normal’.

In addition, hotels have also indicated they will do the same.

Insurers have also indicated that they will fall in line with any standardisation of vaccination passports, and may demand to see proof of vaccination before covering those wishing to go on holiday.

The international Travel and Health Insurance Journal reported that “If the EU obliges travellers to vaccinate, travel insurance providers may refuse to cover those who decline to have the vaccination.”

EU news website Schengenvisainfo also reported on the likely move by insurers, pointing out that anti-vaxxers will likely be specifically targeted by the mandates.

“Even if anti-vax travellers find a loophole in the requirement and manage to enter any of the Member States, travel insurance providers may refuse to cover them,” the report states.

It continues, “With the high volume of fake news and conspiracy theories that have been going on for months now on the pandemic and vaccination, the real challenge for the EU will not be to purchase the necessary vaccine doses, but rather to convince people to be vaccinated.”

The report adds that “Conspiracy theorists, in Europe and further in the world, have targeted Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who is known as a supporter of vaccination, claiming he is responsible for the Coronavirus pandemic.”

While surveys have indicated that around half the people in the world are not willing to take the vaccine at this stage. However, a recent poll has indicated that 74% of Americans say they are willing to get a COVID vaccination passport, should they be introduced in the U.S.

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Coronavirus

They Just Won’t Stop

Cognitive development disorders in children caused by lockdowns and masks explode.

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More evidence is emerging of the tremendous damage lockdowns and mask mandates have had on the cognitive development of infants.

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Pew Survey Finds COVID Has Virtually Disappeared as a Major Concern For Americans

It’s over, but some restrictions remain.

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Illustrating how the issue has largely disappeared, a new poll of Americans finds COVID to be the least of their concerns out of a list of 12 different subjects.

The survey was conducted by Pew Research between April 25-May 1.

Just 19 per cent of respondents said COVID was still a “very big problem,” while 31 per cent said it was a “small problem” and a further 12 per cent said it was “not a problem at all.”

In comparison, 70 per cent of Americans said inflation was a “very big problem,” with a further 23 per cent describing it as a “moderately big problem.”

Ten other issues, including violent crime, illegal immigration and the condition of infrastructure, all rank above COVID-19 in terms of being more of a concern.

As one commentator observed, the war in Ukraine appears nowhere on the list, although Pew chose not to include it as an option.

“Democrats are nearly four times as likely as Republicans to rate climate change as a very big problem (63% vs. 16%),” reports Pew. “Republicans, by contrast, are far more likely than Democrats to view illegal immigration as a very big problem (65% vs. 19%).”

Despite the pandemic virtually being over, numerous states are still enforcing indoor mask mandates and other COVID restrictions that refuse to die.

As we highlighted yesterday, Broadway star Patti LuPone launched an angry rant at an audience member for not wearing a mask properly during a Q&A session despite the fact that she wasn’t wearing one inside the theater.

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Broadway Star Angrily Lectures Audience Member For Not Wearing a Mask While Not Wearing a Mask

“It’s okay when we do it!”

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Jeff Spicer via Getty Images

Broadway star Patti LuPone launched an angry rant at an audience member for not wearing a mask properly during a Q&A session, despite the fact that neither LuPone or any of her colleagues were wearing masks at all.

LuPone was appearing alongside her “Company” costars at the American Theatre Wing when she appeared to target a woman sat near the front for not wearing her face mask over her nose.

“Put your mask over your nose. That’s why you’re in the theater,” LuPone screeched.

“That is the rule. If you don’t want to follow the rule, get the fuck out. I’m serious, she added while gesticulating aggressively. “Who do you think you are if you do not respect the people sitting around you?”

When one audience member dared to respond, “I pay your salary,” LuPone shot back.

“You pay my salary? Bullshit!” Chris Harper pays my salary,” she said, referring to the show’s producer.

No one in the audience pointed out the ultimate irony – LuPone was lecturing everyone else in the room for not wearing a mask properly while she wasn’t wearing one at all, and neither were any of her colleagues.

LuPone previously missed 10 performances earlier this year after testing positive for COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated.

As ever, LuPone responded by thanking the vaccine.

During a previous appearance on The View, the actress also demanded that mask mandates in theaters be kept in place for much longer.

“Just because those theaters are old, the seats are close, and we’re not out of this,” she said.

As we have exhaustively highlighted, there is no scientific evidence that masks have any measurable impact on stopping the spread of COVID-19, but they have been more successful in stunting the cognitive development of babies and toddlers.

The UK government’s own investigation found that the evidence for the efficacy of face masks stopping the spread of COVID-19 in schools is “not conclusive.”

According to University of Oxford Professor Jim Naismith, when England dropped face mask mandates back in July and Scotland maintained them, it made “no meaningful difference” to infection rates.

We previously highlighted the comments of UK government SAGE adviser Dr Colin Axon, who dismissed masks as “comfort blankets” that do virtually nothing, noting that the COVID-19 virus particle is up to 5,000 times smaller than the holes in the mask.

“The small sizes are not easily understood but an imperfect analogy would be to imagine marbles fired at builders’ scaffolding, some might hit a pole and rebound, but obviously most will fly through,” Axon said.

Given that the event was a Q and A, and not a theatrical performance, LuPone and her colleagues could have easily all worn masks, but chose not to, while imposing the rule on everyone else in the room.

Apparently, they’re better than you, and different rules apply.

“It’s okay when we do it!”

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