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Republicans Attack Outdated Bill Seeking To Enforce Quarantines

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U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) attacked a New York state bill that’s been stalled for the last six years as a “shocking” and “a direct assault on our Constitutional guarantee of due process.” The legislation would allow the state and counties to detain contagious patients who refuse to quarantine during a state of emergency.

The bill was introduced in 2015 by state Assemblyman Nick Perry, a Democrat, after a Brooklyn nurse infected with Ebola refused to quarantine. The bill received no co-sponsor nor any show of support.

Zeldin, New York GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy, and other Republicans used the bill’s annual reintroduction into the Assembly’s Health Committee as proof of the Democratic-controlled legislature using COVID-19 to infringe on New Yorkers’ rights.

“King Cuomo and his lemmings in the Legislature who have abdicated their power to him … trampled over our constitutional rights with this virus,” Langworthy said in a statement.

Cuomo’s aide Rich Azzopardi said the administration wasn’t even aware of the bill until GOP critics brought it up.

“We have real problems to focus on and I urge the crazy uncles who are fueling this cut-rate QAnon to knock it off and take a walk or something,” Azzopardi said.

Perry, the bill’s original sponsor, said he still supports the measure but that he was open to amendments from those concerned with constitutional rights.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.