PETITION: No to mandatory contact tracing and government surveillance for the coronavirus. Sign the petition here.
WASHINGTON, DC, June 9, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Despite U.S. Attorney General William Barr having stated unequivocally that stay-at-home orders are “unprecedented burdens on civil liberties,” it appears that the liberties of U.S. citizens are increasingly at risk due to extraordinary COVID-19 contact tracking measures being put in place by liberal politicians.
More and more, the oft-repeated mantra of many government officials that contact tracking, quarantine, and isolation are “voluntary” appears to be a blatant lie, hinting that similar assurances that vaccinations will be voluntary may be non-credible as well.
The lockdowns demanded by governors and mayors across the nation have indeed fed their authoritarian appetites. The pandemic response has been used “as a splendid rationale to accumulate power, and then to persecute, harass and prosecute Americans who are anxious to get their lives and freedom back after months of lockdown,” according to David Krayden, writing at Human Events.
Human contact tracking
Johns Hopkins University’s online training for COVID-19 trackers explains at the outset that contact tracking programs are a “public good” that must be balanced with “rights of privacy, confidentiality, and autonomy.”
LifeSiteNews is providing screenshots from the Johns Hopkins course to show that the coming government encroachment on privacy and personal liberty is not drawn from inferences, but from the required course material for those seeking certification as competent contact trackers.
Trainees are taught that once they’ve identified persons who have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, they are to advise them to self quarantine for 14 days. For those who actually have the virus, they are to be counseled to self-isolate for 10 days. However, “in some circumstances, these requests may be mandated and enforced.”
Enforcement is not a hypothetical threat. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has already indicated that people who refuse to cooperate with contact trackers or refuse COVID-19 testing won’t be allowed to leave their homes.
And if they don’t do so voluntarily, Inslee said they will face sanctions in either civil or criminal court. Moreover, if government officials pursue quarantine or isolation via court order, individuals face fines of up to $2,000 per day.
Washington State Department of Health website screenshot
Kentucky residents who refuse to quarantine themselves have been outfitted with ankle bracelets, identical to those criminals must wear who are confined to house arrest.
When social distancing and quarantine rules were first implemented in late March, states exerted muscle to enforce their new regulations, mostly established by the governor’s executive order:
- Maryland and Hawaii residents were subject to up to one year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine;
- Texas residents could be fined up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in prison.
- Alaskans could face one year in jail and be fined up to $25,000.
- Canada has threatened its residents who violate the Quarantine Act with up to a whopping $750,000 fine in addition to jail time.
Washington State already has more than 1,000 contact tracers in place; New York plans to hire 17,000; California aims to hire 20,000.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) ask but do not answer inherently troubling questions on their contact tracing for COVID-19 webpage, under “Operational Questions to Consider”:
- Under what circumstances will quarantine be mandatory (under public health orders) as opposed to voluntary?
- How will contacts be monitored for self-quarantine compliance?
- What steps will be taken for contacts under self-monitoring who do not report as required? How intensive will the outreach be (e.g., same-day home visit)?
- What steps will be taken if a contact is unwilling or unable to be interviewed or cannot be located?
Bottom line? Quarantine, isolation, and contact tracing are not voluntary.
Right to privacy gone
Every American who has been a patient at a doctor’s office or hospital is well aware that their medical history is guarded by Hipaa (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), but COVID-19 contact tracing appears to toss that right-to-privacy out the window.
Information about one’s COVID-19 status will most likely not only get entered into a centralized database. Some states and local jurisdictions currently share COVID-19 health status with local law enforcement officials.
The addresses of COVID-19 patients in Denver, Boulder, El Paso, Adams, Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties have been given to 911 centers so the dispatchers can warn police officers and first responders who are called to the addresses that there are confirmed novel coronavirus cases within.
Proponents of the practice say it gives first responders an important heads up to be particularly careful and to don enhanced protective gear when responding to addresses with confirmed cases, while critics say it’s an unnecessary disclosure that’s ripe for abuse.
In Denver, the city’s public health department has sent more than 1,000 addresses to dispatchers denoting COVID-19 patients’ homes. The list, updated daily, also includes addresses where patients have recovered enough to be allowed out of isolation, according to a statement from the city’s joint information center.
Interestingly, the Johns Hopkins training course longingly calls attention to Communist China and South Korea’s system of maintaining “centralized national databases of phone numbers and locations,” to deal with COVID-19.
Big brother in your pocket
In addition to contact tracing person-to-person, states and big tech are working together to develop COVID-19 tracking phone apps that could open up a brave new world of tyranny based on “health” and “safety.”
Pointr, a company which focuses on “indoor location technology” excitedly promoted Apple and Google’s partnership to deliver “technology for contact tracing across the world via smartphone apps.
Johns Hopkins training course diagrams how that would work.
A person with a contact tracing app on their smartphone goes through a typical workday, including being in close contact with family members at home, coming into close or physical contact with others while commuting on a bus or train or while at work, later discovering that he or she is developing COVID-19 symptoms after returning home.
As shown in the graphic below, each of the persons who came into close proximity with the infected person would be alerted via their smartphone to quarantine for 14 days.
In this example which depicts the daily movements of tens of millions of Americans, scores or even hundreds of people might be required to quarantine because of exposure to a single person over the course of a day.
What if you are one of the people who had been tagged as having been on a bus with an infected person, and after having emerged from 14 days of quarantine and having gone back to your job, were notified that someone in your office has come down with COVID-19? You would have to go right back into 14 days of quarantine.
The pattern could be repeated time after time after time, essentially trapping you in perpetual quarantine. It wouldn’t be voluntary: It would be mandatory, enforced by health officials and law enforcement. And if you refused to comply, you could be subject to onerous fines and prison.
The only way out of perpetual quarantine?
All of this, of course, leads to the solution that the way out for those trapped in perpetual quarantine in their homes will be COVID-19 vaccination, if and when it becomes available.
Inoculation against the virus would then become, for all intents and purposes, necessary; that is, if one wants freedom to move about in society. It would provide the only ticket to freedom from what amounts to house arrest.
However, acquiescing to the vaccination could prove hugely problematic ––especially for pro-life Christians–– if the vaccine is derived from aborted fetal cells, as some of the vaccines now being fast-tracked are. On top of that, any rushed vaccine or medication has inherent safety risks due to unknown side effects.
An even more chilling scenario is also emerging.
Government compelled mandatory vaccination?
While President Trump has indicated a potential future COVID-19 vaccine would be voluntary, there is a strong move afoot by some to force it on citizens.
In May, a committee of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) asked the association to recommend that the COVID-19 vaccine be deemed mandatory when it becomes available.
The committee’s report argued that the alleged gravity of the coronavirus pandemic “presents compelling justification for State legislatures and Congress to mandate a COVID-19 vaccination.”
Celebrity attorney, Alan Dershowitz, previously posited similar sentiments in a video interview:
You have no constitutional right to endanger the public and spread a disease even if you disagree, you have no right not to be vaccinated. You have no right not to wear a mask. You have no right to open up your business … you absolutely [have to be vaccinated] and if you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm, if the vaccine is designed to prevent the spreading of the disease.
Dershowitz made a distinction: “If the vaccination is designed to prevent the spreading disease; If the vaccination is only to prevent a disease you will get, for instance if it is a disease that will kill you, you have the right to refuse that. But you have no right to refuse to be vaccinated against a contagious disease. Public health … the ‘police power’ [found in] the Constitution gives the state the power to compel that.”