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5 Jan, 2021 17:02

New York’s new law setting up detention centers to lock up suspected Covid-19 cases heralds a Kafkaesque nightmare

New York’s new law setting up detention centers to lock up suspected Covid-19 cases heralds a Kafkaesque nightmare

The New York legislature is weighing a bill that would let the authorities take anyone suspected of having or being exposed to a contagious disease and hold them indefinitely - even forcibly medicating them.

Under the new law, New Yorkers may be dragged out of their homes and locked up on mere suspicion of having been ‘exposed’ to the novel coronavirus — no positive test or even symptoms necessary. Once imprisoned in one of the state’s purpose-built facilities, individuals may be forced to submit to a “prescribed course of treatment” including drugs and vaccines — and even then, freedom is not guaranteed.

The state’s nightmarish Assembly Bill A416 would see targets locked away for as long as 60 days without a hearing. And while the prisoner has a right to legal counsel, New York health authorities will have the ultimate say in deciding when - and if - they’re no longer contagious. Assuming they ever were in the first place, that is.

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Given how unreliable the PCR tests used to screen for the coronavirus are, producing up to 90 percent false positives by some estimates, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s facilities will almost certainly be flooded with the contacts of healthy people erroneously deemed ‘cases.’ But like the governor’s decision to send Covid-19 patients into nursing homes, killing tens of thousands of elderly people, confining the healthy with the sick only guarantees that more of the healthy will fall ill with each passing day. The state thus gets a bump in case numbers, justifying further repression of its citizens under the guise of yet another virus ‘surge.’ 

Nor should the psychological effects of being indefinitely detained for no logical reason in a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare be underestimated. This set-up could keep victims locked away for months, even years. Germany and Switzerland have already begun targeting high-profile dissidents for institutionalization, including doctors and lawyers, and other countries have made it easier to have troublemakers hustled off to the asylum.

Last month, a California neurologist published a paper claiming that belief in Covid-19 “conspiracy theories” was the result of brain damage and hinting that institutionalization might be the only option for these incurable “patients.

Unlike in a criminal case, authorities seeking to medically imprison some inconvenient figure need not supply proof of the individual’s contagious potential. Instead, they merely must show the person is a danger to themselves or others — deliberately vague criteria that leaves plenty of room for judicial abuses. 

Indeed, merely posting criticism of New York’s totalitarian experiment could merit a stay in one of Cuomo’s detention centers. According to the World Health Organization and its many media mouthpieces, sharing unauthorized facts is driving an “infodemic” just as dangerous as the virus itself — meaning those sharing such content are harming others.

Under those guidelines, one could easily justify yanking a pregnant woman out of her home for posting ‘wrongthink’ on social media — and indeed, Australian police boasted about doing just that weeks ago.Lest New Yorkers believe this horrific bill is an aberration, it’s far from the only power grab the state assembly has launched. Another piece of pending legislation seeks to make vaccines mandatory “in certain situations” — an ominously vague stipulation that the bill’s author later clarified meant “all individuals or groups of individuals who…are proven safe to receive such a vaccine.” Don’t want to play guinea pig to Big Pharma? Too bad!

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New York has already eliminated religious exemptions for vaccination and has previously attempted to force flu shots on all state healthcare workers - even though the jabs are notoriously ineffective.

But this time, the Cuomo administration is going further with plans to inoculate drug addicts in state facilities with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — whether they want the jab or not. So much for ‘my body, my choice.’

The transformation of New York City from a mecca of arts and culture to a quivering jello-mold of an authoritarian hellhole would not have happened nearly so quickly if the authorities had encountered even minimal resistance at the start of the pandemic. 

But New Yorkers, despite a reputation for being independent, strong-willed, and distrustful of authority, dropped those attributes like a hot potato and commenced industriously licking boot. The ruling class can’t believe its good luck — no need to coerce these supine rag dolls into doing our bidding! — so they’re letting their imaginations run wild while outsourcing surveillance duties to the ordinary people who’ve found their meaning in life snitching on their fellow man. 

What will it take for New Yorkers to wake up to what’s being done to them in the name of eradicating a virus with a 99.7 percent survival rate? How many neighbors will have to be ‘disappeared’ into the quarantine system? These are not merely rhetorical questions. Americans will have to decide sooner or later what side they’re on.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.