Minnesota SF 4500 & HF 4579 – Testing and Contact Tracing Bills Move Forward – Know Your Rights!
What SF 4500 and HR 4579 sets into motion is horrific to envision. These are just not “any” bills. These bills point to the destruction of our society – a society that will never be the same again.
Testing and contact tracing programs should never be a prerequisite for opening state’s businesses and schools! Do you see what they’ve just done?
We can go back to “normal” they say and reopen the state, as long as everyone submits to a daily fever check, numerous tests including DNA blood tests and of course lots of contact tracing questions – who were you with, how long, according to your cell phone you spent one hour with XX but declined to tell us. It’s a small price to pay for your freedom, right?
The Senate has refused the House language and worked toward an amended bill, SF 4500, that focuses more on a “Bill of Rights” for individuals excluding employees (while handing out more grants to businesses in order to install the testing and tracing.) More on employers/employees later. SF 4500 https://www.senate.mn/committees/2019-2020/3095_Committee_on_Health_and_Human_Services_Finance_and_Policy/scs4500a16%20(003).pdf
The House bill – HR 4579 –
is a mandatory document on all accounts and includes “alternative housing”. How do these different bills work going forward? The legislature will close it’s doors on May 18th (Monday). Small conference committees will conference together the House and Senate bills and likely we’ll end with one health omnibus bill where they pass a little good and mostly bad (for the sake of the good). HR 4579 (3rd version of bill) https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF4579&version=2&session=ls91&session_year=2020&session_number=0
So before we get into the bill, let me be clear…
- The Senate Health Committee via Dept of Health spokesperson Huff stated that the virus has infected Minnesotans and is widespread. Widespread! So many are either negative or asymptomatic, ie. positive without symptoms, and their immune systems fought off the virus, ie. herd immunity.
- The health community has been weighing in, according to Sen Jensen in committee yesterday, and nurses and doctors are acknowledging that if we were to contact trace for the virus, a respiratory illness which isn’t normally a contact tracing issue, but if we were to contact trace that should have happened in December 2019 or January 2020. Essentially, the horse is out of the barn and the need no longer exists.
Let me also be clear!
- The Senate rightly put together an individual’s Bill of Rights regarding testing and tracing. This an exceptional plus! However, just like in education and every other sector, they cannot protect our privacy. In other words, it sounds good on paper. In the UK just last week, plans for the new Coronavirus app to contain all testing and contact tracing information was leaked via Google’s platform. The fact that many apps use Google as a platform is very concerning especially for this application. Google has breeched more information on individuals than any other entity and has been sued more than any another other entity. As much as the Senate believes in our outdated Chapter 13 statutes, they will not protect us. What about the Department of Health? Will they or can they protect our data? https://www.wired.co.uk/article/nhs-covid-19-app-health-status-future
- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) makes it clear that they are closing watching and in opposition to how people may be tracked and predatorially surveilled. They’ve submitted a FOIA for information from the CDC and Dept of Health regarding all communications with technology companies. https://www.engadget.com/aclu-privacy-principles-contact-tracing-220040940.html
All to say…. Contact Tracing is not necessary! Contact Tracing will hire an army of “medical military” and it will be used to control us all while continuing to collapse our state financially!
SF 4500 (an amendment titled A16) is easily broken into three sections or subdivisions, definitions, testing and tracing bill of rights and grants to employers.
In Subd 1
Definitions, Line 1.12 and 1.13 A positive case is only positive when the individual has received a positive diagnostic test. Up until now, positive case status has been conferred with a simple listing of symptoms, even over the phone. This ties a positive diagnostic test result with a “positive case.” Good definition.
In Subd 2
Testing and Contact Tracing Bill of Rights
Line 1.15 the word “employees” was removed. Background: At Tuesday hearing, Sen Abeler expressed the possible difficulties to keep “employees” and “employers” as part of the Bill of Rights because of existing employment law. At the Thursday hearing, a Chamber of Commerce spokesperson, Bentley Graves, stated that he appreciated the change in language in the bill since a host of guidance from the WHO and CDC as well as Executive Order(s) are guiding Minnesota employer reopenings. Evidently, employers are being what they can and what they can not do. MACC is grieved that the senators removed protections for employees.
Subd. 2, Line 1. 18 and 1.19 No testing on an individual without written consentubd. 2 Line 1.20 – 1.22 An individual who tests positive for Covid-19 is not required to cooperate with contract tracing and may refuse to provide information.
Subd 2 Line 1.23 – 1.25 A commissioner’s contracted vendor must provide a Tennessen Warning to individuals prior to contact tracing. A Tennessen Warning is a Minnesota statute that warns citizens that their data is about to be taken.
Subd 2 Line 1.26 – 1.29 Testing results are considered as a health record and shall not be disclosed without written consent of individuals. The word, “written” was removed from this line and in 2 other lines. (Remember that Governor Walz EO to have all health records for those who’ve tested positively be sent to 500 police departments. (Perhaps this line is in place for when the Governor relinquishes his emergency powers?)
Subd 2 Line 1:30 – 2:6 Contact tracing data is considered private data. The commissioner “shall” established procedures and safeguards to ensure data will not be released, included an individual’s address of residence or specific individual information.
“Shall” should be changed to “must”!
Line 2.7 – 2.11 “If an asymptomatic individual refuses to be tested for COVID-19 as part of the screening process, the Commissioner shall not have the authority to pursue an ex parte order (Statute 144.4195) authorizing isolation or quarantine of the individual.”
Subd 3: Grants to Employers
Line 2.12 – 2.17 The commissioner shall award grants to employers to assist the employer in establishing COVID-19 testing of employees. The commissioner will be in charge of the process and determine amount and number of grants. Priority given to employers that involve high-risk sites and available to employers of 100 employees or less.
This grant subdivision was an add-on that was not well received by everyone on the committee. Will these employer grants further incentivize employers to implement agency policy?
Friends, You are going to have to know your rights, ie. your Constitutional Bill of Rights and know this legislation when it is passed. This is partially what you will use to protect your children and your family. As a parent, you have parental rights to raise your child as you feel best, whether educationally or in their health care. At any time, Com. Malcolm or Gov. Walz could modify anything passed by the legislature.
It’s time to stop being “Minnesota Nice”. We must get loud! You must be ready to stand up for your own inalienable rights, those rights that God gives to us. Only look to Washington and other states where the Department of Health is already implementing testing and tracing. You will recognize our need to pray fervently and stand up for our families!
Remember these words?
War is Peace; Freedom is Slavery; Ignorance is Strength. George Orwell, 1984.