Why everyone should be terrified by NY Assembly Bill A416

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With all the craziness surrounding the storming of the US capitol, as well as the prospect of a civil war, it was easy to miss the fact that an absolutely disturbing piece of legislation is being proposed in New York State right now: Assembly Bill A416.

The bill would grant dangerous emergency powers to the state

On first glance, the bill looks like it simply aims to protect the public from the spread of deadly communicable diseases by putting infected people in quarantine facilities. But upon further scrutiny it shows that it would grant the government the ability to indefinitely detain anyone “suspected” of a being a “case, contact, or carrier” of any communicable disease.

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This means that the state merely has to deem you a “suspected carrier” and they can in theory detain you as long as they want. The prospect of this happening might sound far-fetched and paranoid to some. However, anyone who has studied history will know that governments can easily become totalitarian in the midst of a crisis. After all, would the government really let a crisis go to waste?

‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. – Friedrich August von Hayek

So far, most people have accepted the heavy-handed measures put in place to control the virus. They believe that they are only temporary and will be lifted once the virus disappears. However, recent history has painted a different picture. The emergency powers granted to governments after 9/11, such as those in the Patriot Act, were never revoked. The threat of terrorism is still used as a scapegoat to increase the police state, and the virus is no different.

Similarities with New Zealand’s policy

New Zealand announced a similar policy six months ago. Unfortunately, it was drowned out by constant media coverage of the virus and the civil unrest. The policy was to institute medical quarantine facilities that would fall under military jurisdiction, where any citizen “suspected” of being a covid carrier could be held without due process. So New Zealand is essentially setting up military-ran covid camps. This sounds disturbingly like martial law if you ask me.

So, Assembly Bill A416 sounds eerily similar to the NZ policy. To anyone who’s been skeptical of the government’s response to the pandemic, this is not too surprising. Predictions about martial law coming to America have been made for years by politically aware journalists and commentators. It was just a matter of when, not if.

The takeaway

It’s up for debate whether these quarantine camps would only be used to stop the spread of a deadly virus. Maybe they would also lock up “suspected terrorists” or dissidents. Maybe they would be used for forced vaccinations for those who refuse to take the vaccine. Who knows? One thing is for certain though, anyone who cares about civil liberties should be sounding the alarm right now.

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