You can now be apprehended and detained for having a “respiratory illness”
As the Ebola outbreak that is spreading uncontrollably across West Africa continues to cause concern, President Barack Obama has signed an amendment to an executive order that would allow him to order the apprehension and detention of any Americans who show signs of having a “respiratory illness”.
President George W. Bush signed executive order 13295 back in April of 2003 which allowed for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases”. President Obama’s recently signed executive order, titled Revised List of Quarantinable Communicable Diseases, will be amending this.
President Obama’s amendment allows for the apprehension and detention of “Severe acute respiratory syndromes, which are diseases that are associated with fever and signs and symptoms of pneumonia or other respiratory illness, are capable of being transmitted from person to person, and that either are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic, or, upon infection, are highly likely to cause mortality or serious morbidity if not properly controlled.”
The Ebola was already listed on President Bush’s original executive order, but President Obama’s amendment ensures that Americans who simply show signs of having a “respiratory illness” can be detained, by force if necessary, by medical authorities. This is very similar to the measures that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has in place for dealing with an outbreak of a communicable disease. These measures allow for the quarantine of “well persons” who “do not show symptoms” of the disease.
To top it all off, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act allows public health authorities and governors to sieze control of communications devices and public and private property, as in the event of a public health emergency, among other draconian measures. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons warned that this legislation “could turn governors into dictators”.
Read more about the story at Examiner.