Yesterday, I came across an article on TheHill.com about Megan McCain sharing her fear that Trump would exploit coronavirus hysteria to execute a “draconian” power grab “akin to the Patriot Act” which was passed and signed into law following the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
When I passed this article along to my social media connections, many of them let their bias against John McCain — Megan’s father loved the Patriot Act and NSA spying — get in the way of hearing what she was saying. And as it turns out, her concerns are quite valid.
The simple fact of the matter is that nearly everyone in Washington, including Trump and his administration, are exploiting the so-called pandemic to destroy liberty in order to create a more socialistic, more tyrannical government.
In the $2.2 trillion stimulus bill Trump recently signed into law, over $150 billion will go to expand financing for hospitals, medical equipment, and healthcare worker protection. Hidden in that number is $1.5 billion going to the CDC for state and local governments to buy equipment and other measures to mitigate the virus’ spread. (emphasis mine)
What might these “other measures” be? Well, at least $500 million has been set aside to launch a new “surveillance and data collection system” to gather information on how the virus is spreading.
In what has become standard operating procedure whenever Washington makes a law these days, we have no idea what this system will look like even though the CDC is required to begin development of the system within the next 30 days. However, we already know that the federal government has expressed an interest in using data gleaned from tech giants like Google and Facebook along with using a special app that is yet to be created to monitor smart phones.
Any doubts about how committed Trump and the Unibrow Congress are to using coronavirus hysteria to create this new spying program were laid to rest a few days ago when Trump son-in-law/senior advisor Jared Kushner’s coronavirus task force requested the creation of what is being called a Patriot Act for healthcare.
Ivanka’s husband reached out to a number of health technology companies about forming a partnership to create a national coronavirus surveillance system that will give government “real time” information of where patients seek treatment and for what. If created, his surveillance system will represent a huge expansion of government’s use of individual patient data, and it will once again lower the bar on our right to privacy during a real or imagined national “crisis.”
Trump has already taken steps to make this government network a reality. Thanks to a push by Kushner, Trump has eased data-sharing rules to protect health data companies from penalties for sharing health information — a move he made to make it easier for Kushner to create the new national spy network.
Coronavirus hysteria is being used to destroy liberty, and Megan McCain was right to be worried. Unfortunately, it might be that she’s too late.
David Leach is the owner of the Strident Conservative. He holds people of every political stripe accountable and promotes conservative principles over political parties.