This text was beforehand revealed June 2, 2020, and has been up to date with new data.
As if vaccine passports, COVID-19 contact tracing apps and obligatory pictures don’t already pose sufficient of a risk to civil liberties and a democratic society, right here looms a invoice, H.R. 6666, the COVID-19 Testing, Reaching And Contacting Everybody (TRACE) Act.1
Whereas the invoice by no means went past the Home Power and Commerce Committee, that doesn’t imply it gained’t present up sooner or later with a special title and probably much more invasions into our private freedoms corresponding to obligatory vaccines.
H.R. 6666 was launched and referred to the Home Committee on Power and Commerce by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Sick., Might 1, 2020. It ended up with 72 cosponsors2 — all Democrats. Initially, there additionally was one Republican, however he withdrew his sponsorship Might 15, 2020. In keeping with the abstract of the invoice:3
“This invoice authorizes the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) to award grants for testing, contact tracing, monitoring, and different actions to deal with COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus illness 2019).
Entities corresponding to federally certified well being facilities, nonprofit organizations, and sure hospitals and colleges are eligible to obtain such grants. In awarding the grants, the CDC shall prioritize candidates that (1) function in scorching spots and medically underserved communities, and (2) agree to rent people from the communities the place grant actions happen.”
H.R. 6666 — A ‘Monstrously Unconstitutional’ Invoice
For sure, many an eyebrow was raised over the “6666” within the decision. It appears each unlucky and satirically apt. As famous by Cheryl Chumley in a Might 12, 2020, Washington Instances article:4
“Mark of the beast. Mark of the beast for a beastly, monstrously unconstitutional invoice. In any case, what’s extra devilishly un-American than launching one of the crucial large authorities surveillance packages of personal residents in U.S. historical past, all beneath the guise of defending folks from the coronavirus?”
The federal government grants — a whopping $100 billion of taxpayer cash for 2020 alone — would have been utilized by “eligible entities” to rent workers and purchase the provides wanted to conduct testing and call tracing. This contains sending workers to the residences of residents to conduct COVID-19 testing.
Entities eligible for grant cash included federally certified well being facilities, school-based clinics, disproportionate share hospitals, educational medical facilities, nonprofit organizations, establishments of upper training, excessive colleges and some other entities decided to be eligible by the Well being and Human Companies Secretary.
Had it been enacted, should you examined constructive for COVID-19, you’d have then been quarantined both at a cell well being unit or in your personal dwelling. Contact tracers would additionally accumulate details about anybody you might have come into contact with in order that they are often examined and, if wanted, quarantined.
As famous by Chumley, simply how the federal government intends to make sure compliance with quarantine stays an unanswered query. We now know that as much as 80% of people that take a look at constructive stay asymptomatic,5 and for individuals who really feel nice, being locked up, whether or not at dwelling or in a cell unit, for 2 weeks or extra will not be a welcome proposition at this level.
COVID-19 Does Not Warrant Proposed Monitoring Measures
In a nutshell, H.R. 6666 known as for taking $100 billion of our taxpayer cash to fund our personal persecution. I say “persecution,” contemplating this virus isn’t significantly deadly for folks beneath the age of 80, and has an total survival fee of about 99% and due to this fact doesn’t pose a big risk for the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants.
At current, most information are nonetheless unreliable, seeing how “suspected” circumstances are lumped into mortality statistics. However two conditions for which we’ve extra full information counsel the danger from SARS-CoV-2 is minimal.
For instance, of the roughly 4,800 crew on the U.S. plane provider USS Theodore Roosevelt, 840 examined constructive,6 however 60% had been asymptomatic,7 which means that they had no signs. Just one crewmember died.8
Equally, among the many 3,711 passengers and crew onboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 712 (19.2%) examined constructive for SARS-CoV-2, and of those 46.5% had been asymptomatic on the time of testing. Of these exhibiting signs, solely 9.7% required intensive care and 1.3% (9) died.9
Navy personnel, as you’d count on, are usually more healthy than the overall inhabitants. Nonetheless, the info from these two incidents reveal a number of vital factors to think about. To begin with, it means that even when dwelling in shut, crowded quarters, the an infection fee is low.
Solely 17.5% of the united statesTheodore Roosevelt crew obtained contaminated — barely decrease than the 19.2% of these onboard the Diamond Princess, which had a higher ratio of older folks.
Second, match and wholesome people usually tend to be asymptomatic than not — 60% of naval personnel in comparison with 46.5% of civilians onboard the Diamond Princess had no signs regardless of testing constructive.
‘Devilish’ in Its Substance
Whereas H.R. 6666 will not be satanic, it’s actually “devilish,” Bob Barr writes in a Might 20, 2020, Marietta Every day Journal op-ed.10 Barr, president and CEO of the Regulation Enforcement Training Basis, is a former U.S. Congressman for Georgia’s Seventh District.
“Make no mistake … the invoice is a harmful piece of laws, not due to its quantity, however due to its substance,” Barr writes. “It’s the newest in a protracted line of legislative autos … to extend the federal authorities’s energy to assemble and database non-public data on residents …
On this newest effort, Home Democrats have employed the tradecraft for which the Congress has change into notoriously adept — hiding the true goal of laws behind a façade of defending folks from a recognized or perceived hazard …
The particular provisions inside H.R. 6666 pose a really actual hazard; not solely as a stand-alone invoice … however as a attainable modification that could possibly be slipped into the newest, large COVID-19 ‘stimulus’ invoice that handed the Home final week.
The administration already has signaled assist for some model of a Part IV reduction bundle, and no matter that remaining doc seems like, it’s sure to be lengthy and sophisticated, making it an ideal car through which to cover a provision for ‘contact tracing’ comparable maybe to what Rush’s TRACE Act would do …
These of us who’re involved in regards to the development of presidency surveillance and data-basing of non-public data have to be vigilant in opposition to measures just like the TRACE Act, no matter their floor attraction. We should demand the Congress and the Administration aggressively oppose any such measures.”
WARNING: Apple, Android Updates Embody API for Tracing Apps
Contemplating that iPhone and Android updates after the pandemic started make the telephones contact-tracing prepared, the invoice has, in pragmatic phrases, already come to cross.
As reported by Apple,11 their iOS 13.5 replace contained a built-in Publicity Notifications API, which can “enable governments and public well being businesses to develop apps that provide you with a warning should you’ve come into contact with somebody who later checks constructive for Covid-19 and that particular person anonymously logs their constructive consequence right into a database.”
API stands for “utility programming interface.”12 It’s basically a set of features that enable apps to entry sure information or options of the working system. That stated, you’d nonetheless need to obtain a contact tracing app as a way to take part in a contact tracing program, in response to an Apple consultant.13
HR 6666 Units Us on a Harmful Path
As detailed by the Nationwide Vaccine Data Heart (NVIC) in an “Motion Alert” emailed to customers of NVIC’s Advocacy Portal:14
“H.R. 6666 is a federal funding invoice. It proposes to create a surveillance infrastructure that can be utilized by the federal authorities, in addition to native and state governments and personal companies, to require medical testing and monitoring of all residents.
That is in violation of basic civil liberties as set forth within the Invoice of Rights, which embody the primary 10 amendments to the U.S. Structure designed to guard particular person rights and restrict the ability of the federal government.
H.R. 6666 lacks safeguards and circumstances associated to funding of the proposed surveillance operation to stop it from being utilized to intrusive packages mandating testing and surveillance with out a person’s voluntary consent.
If this laws is handed by Congress and enacted into legislation, it might result in denial of a person’s proper to seem in public areas and journey; the correct to employment and training or participation in government-funded companies, and the correct to obtain care in a authorities funded hospital or different some other medical facility.
H.R. 6666 particularly permits for funded entities to dwelling quarantine an individual in opposition to their will, even whereas they’re wholesome. As soon as a vaccine is obtainable, the testing and tracing outcomes doubtlessly could possibly be used to drive people to be injected with a COVID-19 vaccine in opposition to their will.”
As famous by NVIC, whereas the invoice specifies that “Nothing on this part shall be construed to supersede any Federal privateness or confidentiality requirement, together with the laws promulgated beneath part 264(c) of the Well being Insurance coverage Portability and Accountability Act of 1996,” H.R. 6666 by no means ensures privateness.
HIPAA “has all the time allowed disclosure of personal well being data to authorities officers and different authorities accepted entities together with overseas governments with out the information or consent of the person for the aim of conducting public well being surveillance, investigations or interventions,” NVIC writes.15
Public Well being Disaster Does Not Droop Invoice of Rights
NVIC additionally highlights the truth that the Invoice of Rights within the U.S. Structure can’t be suspended or ignored by state or federal authorities throughout public well being emergencies.
As famous by the U.S. Division of Justice in a latest Assertion of Curiosity in Help of Plaintiffs within the case of Temple Baptist Church in opposition to the Metropolis of Greenville and its mayor, which banned drive-in church companies and slapped attendees with fines:16
“There isn’t any pandemic exception, nevertheless, to the elemental liberties the Structure safeguards. Certainly, ‘particular person rights secured by the Structure don’t disappear throughout a public well being disaster.’
In re Abbott, — F.3d —, 2020 WL 1685929, at *6 (fifth Cir. Apr. 7, 2020). These particular person rights, together with the protections within the Invoice of Rights made relevant to the states by the Fourteenth Modification, are all the time in drive and restrain authorities motion.”
Certainly, H.R. 6666 “units the stage for a number of violations of our constitutional rights,” NVIC notes, together with the Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Ninth amendments:
• The Fourth Modification17 proper of Americans is to be safe of their individuals, homes, papers and results in opposition to unreasonable searches and seizures. As defined by NVIC:
“The invoice doesn’t enable people to train their Constitutional proper to be protected of their properties free from warrantless authorities intrusion, and doesn’t present for voluntary refusal of testing and monitoring by a authorities funded entity.
The invoice additionally doesn’t set forth how the contacts of individuals with COVID-19 will probably be traced and whether or not the Constitutional rights of these contaminated with COVID-19, in addition to their contacts, will probably be upheld.”
• The Fifth Modification18 of the U.S. Structure ensures that no particular person shall be disadvantaged of life, liberty or property, with out due strategy of legislation.
“This laws offers authorities funding of entities that can implement testing and doubtlessly implement vaccination of wholesome people, who’re suspected of getting come into contact with COVID-19 constructive individuals whether or not or not they’re exhibiting signs, with out requiring the voluntary consent of the person,” NVIC writes.
• The Eighth Modification19 prohibits merciless and weird punishment of residents. On this case, as famous by NVIC:
“The proposed legislation offers authorities funding to entities that can create and implement packages that hint, monitor and assist the enforced quarantine of wholesome people, who’re suspected of coming into contact with COVID-19 individuals, whether or not or not they’re exhibiting signs and whether or not or not they might already be immune.”
• The ninth Modification20 of the U.S. Structure bestows upon the folks rights not particularly set forth within the Structure.
“H.R. 6666 offers funding for entities to create and implement undefined ‘associated actions’ to COVID-19 testing and unnamed ‘different functions.’”
Take Motion Right now!
“H.R. 6666 needs to be opposed as a result of it offers federal funding to entities to create and implement unrestricted surveillance, testing, tracing and quarantine mechanisms and has no set finish date. There may be merely no approach to know what number of inalienable rights protected beneath the U.S. Structure could possibly be infringed upon or taken away from residents if this invoice turns into legislation,” NVIC says.
Whereas this invoice died within the Home Power and Commerce Committee, that doesn’t imply it gained’t reappear in one other kind, one other time, in an upcoming session — and it doesn’t assure that the following invoice will die in committee as properly.
So, I urge you to take motion as we speak and assist us cease nasty payments like this. Keep in touch along with your U.S. congressional consultant and ask them to vote in opposition to something resembling H.R. 6666, the “COVID–19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everybody (TRACE) Act.”
Be happy to pick out just a few salient factors to personalize your message. Remember that many staffers are nonetheless working remotely, so be ready to depart a coherent telephone message.
In case you’re uncertain who your consultant is, or don’t have their contact data, you’ll be able to look them up on the NVIC’s Advocacy Portal. Simply enter your zip code and click on on the names listed to get their contact data. In case you occur to dwell close to a district workplace, you may additionally think about organising an extended telephone name, video chat or face-to-face assembly along with your consultant or employees.
The nonprofit Nationwide Vaccine Data Heart (NVIC) is the biggest and oldest consumer-led group within the U.S. disseminating data on vaccines and infectious ailments and advocating for defense of the authorized proper to make voluntary vaccination selections. NVIC researches and publishes referenced data you’ll be able to belief and use for speaking factors whenever you communicate along with your legislators.
I urge you to register as a person of the free on-line NVIC Advocacy Portal so you’ll be able to obtain well timed e mail Motion Alerts from NVIC tailor-made to your state and entry state and federal laws motion gadgets and updates on the Portal web site. NVIC always critiques and updates the standing of pending vaccine-related payments so you’ll be able to take motion to guard your rights.
“Payments can change many occasions over the legislative course of and your well timed visits, calls, and emails directed on the appropriate legislators are important to this course of,” NVIC writes. Lastly, take a second to ahead this article to your family and friends, and ask them to share their issues with their elected representatives as properly.