Editorial: Bill proposed in New York to give governor power to detain and medicate people

Photo credit: Patrick Cashin / Creative Commons.

From the Editor:

Thank you to all of you who read the Bryan County Patriot.

The idea for the Patriot originated a number of years ago and became a reality in Spring 2017. The main purpose of its mission is to tell positive stories in the Bryan County and the Texoma area and sometimes extending beyond.

That mission is not changing, but there will be editorials periodically in the future. And they will be labeled as such. News coverage will continue to be unbiased.

News that has come to light, albeit not from the national media, about a bill being considered by the New York State Assembly introducing amendments to the public health law.

This bill – Assembly Bill A419 of the 2021-2022 Legislative Session (Click HERE to read) – is being introduced by New York State Assemblyman N. Nick Perry.

It would give the governor unfettered power over the constituents of the state. If the governor declares a state of health emergency, for instance, if there were an epidemic of any communicable disease, the provisions of this bill can go into place.

According to the proposed bill, people can be removed and/or detained upon presentation of evidence of a case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease or a “suspected case, contact or carrier of a contagious disease.”

On a serious note, how do you provide evidence for a “suspected case?” People can be “removed” upon suspicion.

People or a “group of people” can be detained.

In addition, according to the proposed bill – which could become a law – it could be determined that people are to be forcibly medicated or vaccinated: “to require an individual who has been exposed to or infected by a contagious disease to complete an appropriate, prescribed course of treatment, preventive medication or vaccination, including directly observed therapy to treat the disease and follow infection control provisions for the disease.”

Currently, this bill is in committee. But soon it could get to the floor and then be taken to a vote by the N.Y. Senate and N.Y. Assembly. It would be extremely hard to imagine a situation in which Gov. Cuomo didn’t sign it into law and give himself that much more power.

Why do we need to know this? We live in Bryan County. We’re in southeastern Oklahoma. The trends and cultures that come from both coasts generally take a while to get to where we are.

But they do get here.

And this isn’t the first time this has been tried in New York. Previous versions of this bill have been proposed as far back as 2015. Now is a time when people like Assemblyman Perry thinks it can be passed.

This should make us take notice and be alarming.

“But it’s not a law yet, and it’s not even a federal law at that.”

Yes. On both counts. And even if it were passed, there would likely be many lawsuits and a trip to the Supreme Court to really ascertain it’s legality.

But once legislation like this gets a foothold, no matter how small, this will spread.

So…

This post is to make you aware that thinking like this is coming from real people and not just the writers of post-apocalyptic dystopian movies.

This may or may not even become real legislation. But legislation like this is assault on many freedoms.

And maybe, just maybe, we are here and alive right now and in this place ‘for such a time as this.’ Of course, that is a reference to Chapter 4 of Esther, and that’s not a bad book to read right now.

Should we be afraid. No. Never.

But we should act in wisdom.

More bills like this will be proposed and will start to come to light in places closer to our home than New York. The courage and wisdom to confront this needs to be built and collected now.

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