NY Democrat Introduces Bill Allowing Government to Remove, Detain People with Contagious Diseases

Prior to 2020, this could easily be dismissed as another New York City Democrat crackpot. That’s difficult to do now. Not after we’ve already seen what some consider government overreach under the guise of public safety. Democrat Assemblyman Noah Nicholas Perry wants to amend law to allow for the removal and detention of anyone who may be a danger to public health. But only if the governor has declared a public health emergency.

From the bill:

Upon determining by clear and convincing evidence that the health of others is or may be endangered by a case, contact or carrier, or suspected case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease that, in the opinion of the governor, after consultation with the commissioner, may pose an imminent and significant threat to the public health resulting in severe morbidity or high mortality, the governor or his or her delegee, including, but not limited to the commissioner or the heads of local health departments, may order the removal and/or detention of such a person or of a group of such persons by issuing a single order, identifying such persons either by name or by a reasonably specific description of the individuals or group being detained.

The proposed bill lays out a number of benchmarks that would need to be cleared in order for detention to happen. In my opinion, vaguely written benchmarks. As vaguely written as the paragraph you just read.

Right now, this is just a bill in committee. It would still need to pass the committee. Then pass the Assembly. Then pass the Senate. And then it would go to the governor. I would like to think at any step of this journey, someone would step up and say, “No, you moron, we’re not going to do this.” Again, prior to 2020, I would be more convinced someone would. Now I’m more concerned about the number of New Yorkers who would support this. All in the name of what they call “science” and “the greater good.” Also, giving Andrew Cuomo more power than he has now? F*ck that.

What I find most alarming is that the assemblyman even felt comfortable saying this out loud. He didn’t have the voice in the back of his head telling him, “This sounds crazy and everyone is going to laugh at me.” Instead, he feels that he could get support for amending laws like this. The scary thing is, he’s probably right.

Here’s my biggest concern. It’s a concern that some people have had from the beginning (hi, Courtney). There’s always going to be a public health crisis. Politicians are always going to claim something is a public health crisis. It’s the pandemic now. Some politicians have said the same about climate change and gun violence. What about the next “public health crisis?” Only with elected officials having additional power given to them in vaguely written bills like this?

We didn’t ask enough questions in 2020. We didn’t challenge our “leaders” enough. Let’s not make that same mistake in 2021.


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Author: Brodigan

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