Dr Jay Bhattacharya and Dr Alberto Giubilini

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Immunity Passports: A Debate Between Jay Bhattacharya and Alberto Giubilini

Should Covid Status Certificates be introduced as societies gradually reopen across the world? Most lockdown sceptics are opposed to them for the same reason they oppose lockdowns – they're an encroachment on our liberty by an over-bearing state. Why should we have to produce evidence that we're not infected in order to participate fully in society? It's a policy that seems inspired by China's 'social credit' system, whereby you need to prove you have sufficient 'credit', as defined by the Chinese Communist Party, before you're entitled to various 'rewards', such as being able to purchase a high-speed rail ticket. (And Chinese citizens can also be punished for earning demerits.) It's closely related to China's system of mass surveillance, a hallmark of a totalitarian society. Must liberal democracies mimic some of China's other despotic characteristics, having copied its draconian approach to managing the Covid outbreak? But there are some lockdown sceptics who approve of immunity passports – such as Dr. Alberto Giubilini, a Senior Research Fellow in the Oxford Philosophy Faculty. His reason for opposing lockdowns is that they adversely effect the most vulnerable, such as children and care home residents, and that's also his reason for supporting Covid Status Certificates – they would help to protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19 as societies reopen. In the exchange that follows, Dr...

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February 2023
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