A New York lawmaker has taken down a 6-year-old bill that would authorize the state to detain infected individuals and their contacts deemed a threat to public health during a pandemic, blaming “conspiracy theorists” of spreading misinformation about his proposal.
The bill in question, known as A416, was first introduced by Assemblyman Nick Perry in 2015, nearly a year after the nationwide panic over a potential outbreak of Ebola in the United States. The Brooklyn Democrat said the measure was prompted by an incident in which a nurse refused to be placed in quarantine after returning from West Africa, where she’d helped treat Ebola patients.
Like many other bills, A416 had been reintroduced year after year and died in committee. The latest version of the bill would allow the state governor, by “issuing a single order,” to “order the removal or detention” of any person or group of people deemed to be a suspected case, contact, or carrier of a contagious disease and poses “an imminent and significant threat to the public health in severe morbidity or high mortality.”
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