Remember in 2020, when the idea of digital COVID passports was floated in the U.S.? We were told it would ensure that responsible Americans who did the right thing weren’t exposed to the “unvaccinated.” Even many of us who were vaccinated thought it was a bad idea.
A situation currently unfolding in China demonstrates precisely why no sane person would choose to participate in something that could be so easily exploited.
On April 18, three relatively small banks headquartered in the central province of Henan placed a block on their customer’s bank deposits which totaled $178 million, informing them that they were “upgrading internal systems,” according to Reuters.
On Thursday, Reuters reported that nearly two months later, not only do these deposits remain frozen, but the banks refuse to respond to their customer’s inquiries.
The report said that a group of several hundred depositors planned to travel to Henan to protest outside of the banks.
They were stopped in their tracks, however, when they noticed the health code apps on their cell phones had turned red. In an instant, these citizens had lost access to public transport, restaurants and shopping malls and could no longer travel freely in the country.
One customer from Sichuan province who refused to provide his name for “fear of government retribution” told Reuters, “They are putting digital handcuffs on us.”
When dozens of people in China arrived for a protest in the city of Zhengzhou, many found that the so-called health codes on their phones had turned from green to red.
Many suggested that the inexplicable change was no coincidence. https://t.co/5F1o9mrqId
— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) June 16, 2022
Additionally, several regional governments in China have asked citizens to register their travel plans online. A man from Hubei province said he had registered his plans to travel to Henan province online on June 11. The next morning, his health code turned red.
In the Tweet below, a CNN China reporter said she’d spoken with several of the protestors whose health codes had turned red after they’d arrived in Zhengzhou. “Many were taken from the train station straight into ‘quarantine.'”
Spoke with Chinese depositors whose health code turned red after arriving in Zhengzhou for a planned protest. Many were taken from the train station straight into “quarantine.”
Blatant example of exploiting Covid surveillance for political/social controlhttps://t.co/c0tzKSxp6D
— Nectar Gan (@Nectar_Gan) June 16, 2022
She added this was a “blatant example of exploiting Covid surveillance for political/social control.”
Could such a thing happen in the U.S.?
Did we ever think we would see Americans fired from their jobs for refusing to submit to a vaccine? Or parents thrown out of school board meetings for complaining about the teaching of critical race theory in public schools?
We’ve witnessed the gradual erosion of our liberties over the past year and a half. The Biden administration has given new meaning to former President Ronald Reagan’s famous quote: “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.”
Does anyone seriously doubt the current administration would think twice about exploiting a digital COVID passport system if it were in place?
Such an arrangement could be useful for any number of purposes. It would allow the curtailment of rights and privileges based on an ever-evolving set of standards that serves the government’s agenda.
The protest in China was crushed before it even began.
The man from Sichuan said it best: “They are putting digital handcuffs on us.”
This administration has abused its power in ways unimaginable just two years ago. Why would we ever offer them our virtual wrists?
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