New Yorkers Faced With New Pilot Program By Showing COVID-19 ‘Passport’ To Enter Stadiums, Theaters, Businesses

On Tuesday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the new pilot program to test a ‘Excelsior Pass’ for events held at Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center. This pass developed by IBM is to ‘secure technology to confirm an individual’s vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test’ that is a confidential data transfer which aims to help the fast-track reopening of all businesses.

The pass was first tested on February 27 successfully during the initial phase of the pilot and it was tested for a second time during the New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

“We’re doing everything we can to vaccinate as many New Yorkers as possible, as quickly as possible, while keeping the infection rate down and reenergizing our economy in a safe, smart way,” Cuomo said.

“The Excelsior Pass will play a critical role in getting information to venues and sites in a secure and streamlined way, allowing us to fast-track the reopening of these businesses and getting us one step closer to reaching a new normal, according to Cuomo.”

The GM of IBM Public and Federal Marker, Steve LaFleche said, “This solution can provide New York, and other states, a simple, secure, and voluntary method for showing proof of a negative COVID-19 test result or certification of vaccination. IBM is proud to support the State of New York with its efforts to apply innovative technologies to help residents and communities respond to COVID-19.”

The ‘Excelsior Pass’ and ‘companion verification app’ were built on IBM’s Digital Health Pass solution and specifically designed to enable and gain access to verify the health credentials like test results and vaccination records. It uses blockchain technology and says individuals can voluntarily share their health status through the encrypted digital wallet to their smartphone without having to share any underlying medical and personal info.

“The technology is flexible and built to scale, allowing other states to join and help foster a safer, trusted transition to a post-pandemic reality,” IBM says.

Political commentator Liz Wheeler said in response to the ‘passports’ , “REFUSE to comply. Strip politicians the power to mandate this. New York Gov. Cuomo testing COVID/vaccine passports to enter venues.”

In January, Andrew Yang who plans to run for Mayor of NYC, discussed plans to help New York City on the ‘vaccine passport’

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