Star-Ledger editorial board calling for vaccine passports in New Jersey

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NEWARK, NJ – The Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper today is calling for vaccine passports for the Garden State and slamming progressive Governor Phil Murphy for not pulling the trigger on it yet.

Murphy has long maintained that because black and brown communities are lagging behind in vaccinations compared to other demographics in the state.

The Ledger board called Murphy’s reasoning, a ‘flimsy’ excuse.

“We’re still not punching at the weight we need to punch in Black and brown communities,” Murphy told the Star-Ledger editorial board. “We’re doggedly on that. We’ve made progress. But I don’t feel we’re there yet. I don’t want to inadvertently put something in place that’s discriminatory.”

The state’s COVID-19 statistics are unreliable, the Ledger board said, adding that there is not such a large racial gap in New Jersey as Murphy claims.

“So where exactly is this equity problem that Murphy says is blocking him from taking the next obvious step in fighting this pandemic, a passport system like the one in New York City, where you must show proof of vaccination to enter a restaurant, museum, or other venue?” the board asked its readers. “In fact, a passport system is a promising way to help close the remaining gap, to the extent that there is one, say public health experts like Stephanie Silvera, an epidemiologist at Montclair State University. And even within the Black community, leading voices say they’re not seeing significant resistance to vaccines or mandates.”

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Instead, the Ledger board said not having a vaccine passport will cause further suffering for black and brown communities and predicted that once Murphy wins his election of Tuesday, he will institute a vaccination passport.

“Black and Hispanic people have already suffered the most from COVID-19. We should not expose more of them to this virus, while using them as an excuse not to do something political. Here’s a prediction: We’ll get passports after the election,” the paper said.