NY Assemblyman Withdraws Public Health Bill Amid Rumors of Concentration Camps for Unvaccinated

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A New York Assemblyman who has repeatedly proposed a bill he originally penned during the 2015 Ebola virus scare has now pulled the legislation amid rumors that it could be used to round up and detain the unvaccinated.

In a Reuters fact check earlier this week, the news outlet explained that the legislation, A.416, aimed to amend current public health law “in relation to the removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are potentially dangerous to the public health” and would have allowed for the “removal and detention of cases, contacts and carriers who are or may be a danger to public health” during a public health crisis.

While the proposed legislation did not mention the unvaccinated and it was not specific to the COVID-19 pandemic, aspects of it could have applied to the current health emergency in New York State.

The fact check came in response to several blogs and social media accounts posting misleading information about the legislation, such as:

The bill is not, however, being voted on and while Assemblyman N. Nick Perry reintroduced the bill in the 2017-2018, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022 legislative sessions, he has now pulled it from committee calendar.

For the bill to have passed, it would have had to go through introduction, a committee stage, then passed through the Assembly before ultimately ending up on Governor Kathy Hochul’s desk.

Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, told the AP tht his committee “does not plan to put the bill on an agenda” and clarified that “This bill has been introduced every year since 2015, has never been taken up by the Committee, has not been cosponsored by other legislators, and has not had a companion bill in the Senate.”

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