New York bill would create literal internment camps for the unvaccinated at the Governor's whim

Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

There’s a highly disturbing piece of potential legislation that’s been knocking around in the New York State assembly for years that’s drawing some renewed attention because of the pandemic and the ongoing debates about vaccinations, masks, and all the rest. While it’s unlikely to move any further (fingers crossed), the mere fact that it exists should be raising alarms for voters. Known only as Assembly Bill A416, it’s described as being legislation that “Relates to the removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are potentially dangerous to the public health.” When the bill speaks of “removal,” it’s talking about the removal of people from society if they are deemed by the Governor or other public health officials to present a risk to the health of others. Such detentions could stretch on indefinitely. The bill caught the attention of one writer at The National Pulse, who summarized most of the key provisions.

Bill A416 presents a serious risk to the basic liberties of all Americans in the state of New York, including their right to choose whether or not to receive medical treatment and vaccinations related to thus far undetermined contagious diseases.

The bill gives the Governor of New York, his or her delegates – including but not limited to the commissioner and heads of local health departments – the right to remove and detain any individuals or groups of people through issuing a single order. The orders only have to include the individual’s name(s) or “reasonably specific descriptions of the individuals or groups.”

The department can decide to hold a person or group of people in a medical facility or any other they deem appropriate. The language is purposefully vague.

Before going any further, it’s important to point out that A416 is one of those “pet bills” from a particular assembly member that’s regularly introduced but doesn’t make any progress. Assemblyman Nick Perry of Flatbush has introduced this bill at the beginning of every legislative session since 2015. Each time, the bill is read into committee, after which it is tabled with no further action taken. The bill doesn’t attract any other sponsors and it’s never come up for a vote on the floor. (You can read the 2015 version here.)

But, as I alluded to above, the mere fact that this bill exists as potential legislation is alarming and should serve as an indicator of the insanely extreme measures some Democrats may be willing to support in the name of controlling the public during a declared state of emergency. That makes it worth taking a moment to review some of the details.

This bill would empower the Governor or any of a number of other public health officials, via the issuance of a single order, to exercise “the right to remove and detain any individuals or groups of people” for an initial period of up to sixty days. That period could be extended upon review by a judge. Such detainees could be held at “any medical facility” or any other facility they deem appropriate.

And what would be going on at these detention facilities? The powers that be would be entitled 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.” Yes, you read that correctly. If passed into law, this bill would allow the state government to forcibly administer medications or even vaccinate you against your wishes under penalty of keeping you locked up if you didn’t comply.

I know what most of you are probably thinking. This is the most “bat**** crazy” thing you’ve ever heard (as one Twitter pal put it to me this morning) and it could never be made into law in a free country. But is that still true? Up until this year, I would have completely agreed with you. But New Yorkers are already seeing the drastic measure that the new governor is willing to embrace to force compliance with vaccine and mask mandates. And as the article I linked above reminds us, other supposedly free countries are already going there. In Australia, the government has set up a significant number of “detention facilities” that are each able to hold thousands of people at a time. And those camps are only intended to hold those who refuse to be vaccinated.

Keep your eyes on these elected officials. You may want to comfort yourself by saying it could never happen here in America. But there are people currently holding elected office who are champing at the bit to prove you wrong.