Beyond 1984: The Scientific Illiteracy and Danger of Cuomo's "Contact Tracing"
Last week Gov Andrew Cuomo announced a new multi-billion dollar plan - started with a $10 million gift from Mike Bloomberg - to start "contact tracing" New Yorkers. The government will hire 100,000 "trackers" to use home visits, cell phone GPS location data - and tips from anonymous sources - to identify people "suspected" of being exposed to Corona. The Contact Tracers will then have the power to arrest, quarantine, isolate, medically test, and shut down all social interaction with anybody "suspected" of being exposed.
The first problem is that the plan is useless. Corona is hyper-contagious: You can catch it from touching exposed surfaces; others sneezing in the next aisle in the supermarket; bad ventilation ducts, or a thousand other ways. Testing shows that nearly 30% of NYC residents and 25% of Long Islanders have already been exposed.
Most people have no idea how they caught it. At a State Prison in Marion, Ohio, where 2,028 out of 2,300 prisoners tested positive last week - and 95% of those showed no symptoms - the Warden had "no idea" how Corona entered and spread through the prison. If "contact tracing" doesn't work in a prison, then how can it work among a dynamic mobile population ? Corona is especially untrackable. It spreads too easily to be tracked, and most infected people show no symptoms.
The other big issue is the huge danger to our freedom. Do we really want to give the government the vast power to "contact track" every interpersonal relationship and interaction - using our cell phones and 100,000 new government agents as spies - to see who we are having lunch with, or meeting with, or talking to ? And then lock-up people "suspected" of being exposed - which is already 30% of the population. Isn't this exactly the nightmare that George Orwell wrote about in "1984."
Anyone who cares about our freedom needs to speak and act now to stop "Contact Tracing." It is medically useless, scientifically illiterate, and blatantly fascist.