A proposed bill that might turn into law if passed, the New York State legislation has suggested that citizens who are deemed a public health threat, can be unquestionably detained and locked up by the government.
The above bill, which legislators may vote on in the coming weeks, would grant the governor and state officials the right to detain any potentially “significant threat to public health.” Furthermore, if suspected to carry a contagious disease, officials will be given the complete power to decide the duration of the detainment.
Detainees may be placed in a medical facility or “any other they deem appropriate.” The bill is intentionally ambiguous in defining “significant threat”, which means politicians can arbitrarily define it. And while the bill places a cap on detention at 60 days, the court can waive the maximum detention time. In addition, the court has 90 days after the initial 60 days to “consider” the detention.
What’s even more troubling is that the bill would require the “potential health threat” to undergo the required medical treatment, including vaccination, and this would be a compulsion. The bill does not specify which illnesses or diseases would qualify as a potential threat, which gives the government in power a free hand in determining whom to lock up, a power that could potentially be abused.
Luckily enough, reports have shown that the bill has gotten a negative response from voters, but its current standing remains uncertain.