The debate continues over whether COVID-19 vaccine passports should become a reality in New Jersey.

Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland County State Senator Mike Testa (R) explains that doing so would be like throwing people's rights away to choose and forcing them to disclose personal health information.

"I think this is going to create a segregated society, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss' "Sneetches" of those who have a star and those who don't have a star," Testa tells Townsquare Media News.

There is some hesitancy over the vaccines in general, giving Testa pause on the idea of mandating them.

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"I think we all have to take into account the fact that these "vaccines" are not fully FDA approved and they're only approved for emergency and experimental purposes at this point in time," Testa said. "A vaccine is supposed to do two things, it is supposed to prevent you from contracting a specific disease and it is suppose to prevent you from spreading a communicable disease...these vaccines do neither of these two basic things."

If people are mandated to get a vaccine and then vaccine passport, Testa says many of his constituents and others have told him they're concerned that they're going to be denied access to places like the beach, restaurants or government buildings if they don't get a vaccine.

"We're sort of throwing peoples rights away by attempting to mandate people disclose their personal medical information to the government," Testa said. "There is no doubt there is a coercion surrounding this vaccine and I'm all for people's personal freedoms, I'm not someone that is anti-vax or something along those lines, if someone wants to go and avail themselves of the Moderna, Pfizer or the J&J when its reintroduced, that is their personal freedom."

In an effort to address this issue and prevent vaccine passports from becoming a reality, Senator Testa has introduced legislation, similar to a bill coming out of Ocean County's 10th District, and would not permit the State, "or any political subdivision of the State, from requiring a private business to confirm that an individual received a vaccination for the COVID-19 in order for the individual to be granted entry on the premises of the private business."

There is more of an issue with the state government's handling of the pandemic, Testa explains, including with all the restrictions and executive orders put into place.

"If the state of New Jersey were a country, we would have the worst numbers in the world, that's not hyperbole, or rhetoric coming from me, that is 100-percent factual," Testa said. "I think we really need to take a hard look at the "science" of this. Governor Murphy has continually stated that he's going to let the data drive the dates. Well, I think we need to look at that thank God this virus is nowhere near as deadly as we once thought it would be a year ago when this was still called the novel coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci was colossally wrong about the millions of American lives that were going to be lost and that's not to discount that this is a very serious virus for many people who have comorbidities, but we still have face the facts that this is over a 99.8-percent survival rate."

Senator Testa also feels the lack of transparency and willingness to work with the State Legislature by Governor Murphy and his administration as well as the executive orders has gone on long enough.

"I just think this entire pandemic, especially in New Jersey, we have felt the heavy weight of an oppressive government. We have been ruled by executive order for over a year at this point in time," Testa said. "The Legislature has been taken out of the equation. We're supposed to be a separate but equal branch of government and Governor Murphy, in my opinion, is really drunk with his executive power and is not going to relinquish it anytime soon."

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