Will vaccine passports be the biggest campaign issue of 2022?
Partisan battle lines are being drawn around coronavirus vaccine passports in what could become one of the defining issues of the 2022 midterm elections.
A growing number of the Republican Party’s most conservative members have seized on the passport proposals and expected guidance from the White House, blasting them as an example of government overreach that would isolate Americans who choose not to get vaccinated and violate the privacy of those who do.
The strategy could backfire: But that strategy carries some risks for the GOP, potentially giving Democrats a platform to tout their response to the coronavirus outbreak while simultaneously forcing Republicans to navigate the politics of the pandemic well into 2022.
“It’s red meat for the base, sure, but this doesn’t help us win back the middle,” one veteran GOP campaign aide said. “It’s just more of the culture wars … and it also means talking about COVID instead of the damage being done by Democrats.”
An example of Republican criticism: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the controversial congresswoman whose conspiratorial remarks have drawn criticism even from some in her own party, this week dubbed the passports President Biden’s “mark of the beast” and called the proposal a form of “corporate communism.”