- The Washington Times
Monday, July 20, 2020

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A woman in Kentucky, Elizabeth Linscott, who tested positive for COVID-19 has been ordered by local health department authorities to stay at home — ordered, and then when she balked, slapped with court papers and shackled around the ankle with a monitor that basically sounds an alarm if she leaves her residence.

Linscott’s husband, Isaiah, received the same treatment.


It’s happening, America. Wake up and smell the contact tracing — the “new normal” that allows government to knock on doors and demand voluntary self-quarantining compliance from free citizens, else face mandatory, court-approved house arrest.

Leftists have worked hard to play down the dangers of a government that’s given the authority to oversee private citizens’ health decisions, i.e. the new coronavirus. Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush’s staff, for example, in an email in May, in several angry, arrogant emails in May, in fact, fought tooth and nail to downplay the dangers to citizens’ freedom that are inherent within the congressman’s H.R. 6666, the “COVID-19 Testing, Reaching, And Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act” — the dangers that call for huge amounts of money, up to $100 billion, actually, to be thrown local health departments’ way to “trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts, through mobile health units and, as necessary … at [citizens’] residence.” In other words: Money for government to knock on citizens’ doors and demand they self-quarantine — or else.

And left-leaning members of the media have gone into overdrive to ensure such truths of contact tracing are similarly squelched.

Reuters, for instance, did some quick damage control, following widespread criticisms of — and fears about — Rush’s H.R. 6666.

“False claim: H.R. 6666 bill allows strangers to enter your house, test you for COVID-19 and take family members into quarantine,” one Reuters headline stated in May. “The bill says nothing about forced testing, forced entry to people’s houses or the removal of family members to be quarantined.”

That’s called smoke and mirrors.

The bill hasn’t yet passed — but here we have, in this Kentucky couple, a perfect example of how it would play in the real world, in real time, in a real COVID-19 so-called voluntary self-quarantining case.

Here’s what happened — here’s what is happening right now — in Radcliff, Kentucky: Linscott said she voluntarily went to be tested for COVID-19 on July 11 because she was going to visit her grandparents and wanted to make sure she wasn’t going to infect them. On July 12, The Associated Press reported, Linscott said the health department in her community notified her of a positive test for the virus, and emailed her a form to sign that required her to self isolate and check in each day at the clinic. It was all for the good of the public; to “prevent the introduction, transmission and spread” of the coronavirus in the state, according to the document’s text, as reported by the AP.

Linscott refused to sign.

Why?

Truthfully — it’s her right. It’s her right as an American citizen to refuse.

But this is the “new normal,” remember. This is the day and age of the coronavirus, contact tracing and the big boot of government that can stamp out individual freedom, individual choice, for the collective good.

“Linscott,” the AP wrote, “said she declined to sign because of one sentence: ‘I will not travel by any public, commercial or heath care conveyance such as ambulance, bus, taxi, airplane, train or boat without the prior approval of the Department of Health.’”

What if her child became sick? What if time were of the essence, and she had to run somewhere?

“I could not comply to having to call the public health department prior if I had an emergency, or I had to go pick something up for my child or myself as a necessity and could not wait,” Linscott said, AP reported.

So she said no to the form.

And the local health bureaucrats didn’t like that.

So they went to court.

On July 16, Hardin County Sheriff John Ward’s deputies helped issue the stay-at-home order from a Hardin County Circuit Court judge, and affix Linscott — and her husband, too — with ankle monitors. Knock. Knock.

“I open up the door and there’s like eight different people [there],” said Linscott’s husband, the New York Post reported. “I’m like what the heck’s going on? This guy’s in a suit with a mask, it’s the health department guy, and he has three different papers for us. For me, [my wife] and my daughter.”

They’re confined to home for two weeks and required to notify local law enforcement officials if they stray more than 200 feet from their jail cell, err, residence.

Welcome to the “new normal,” America. It’s happening.

And with contact tracing coming on strong, as well as the accompanying funding to hire and train the necessary numbers of government workers to enforce citizens’ compliance, the Linscotts’ story will soon become commonplace.

Of course, as Rush and Reuters and the merry band of “trust me, I’m from the government” types will continue to sell it — this is all voluntary and amicable. Just your friendly health department helpers reaching out their friendly helping hands.

And it is. All’s friendly and amicable. So long as you obey.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.


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