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Fact Check-New York State Assembly is not voting on a bill on Jan. 5, 2022 to indefinitely detain unvaccinated people

The New York State Assembly is not voting on a bill in January 2022 to indefinitely detain unvaccinated individuals at the governor’s will, despite claims being made online.

Users and blogs have referred to a bill (A.416) first proposed in 2015 (here) that aimed to amend public health law “in relation to the removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are potentially dangerous to the public health” and is viewable (here).

One user said on Twitter: “New York Legislation votes Jan 5 to provide indefinite detention of unvaccinated. What happened to ‘Land of the Free’?” (here).

Others shared a screenshot of a since-updated article published on the website ‘The National Pulse,’ that claimed the New York Senate and Assembly would be voting on such a bill on Jan. 5, 2022 (here).

Another user said: “If you live in the state of New York, PLEASE GET OUT. The New York State Legislation will vote on January 5th of 2022 whether or not to detain unvaccinated individuals at Gov. Hochul’s discretion. This insane authoritarianism cannot be sustained. The people must fight back” (here).

No such bill is being voted on in the New York State Assembly on Jan. 5, 2022. The legislative session begins on that date (here), (here).

The bill being shared online was first proposed in 2015, sponsored by New York Assembly Member N. Nick Perry following the outbreak of Ebola and does not mention the term ‘unvaccinated’ (here).

The A.416 bill would have allowed for the “removal and detention of cases, contacts and carriers who are or may be a danger to public health” during a public health emergency.

In a statement released in 2020, Perry said the bill had first been introduced after it was discovered that people infected with Ebola had entered the United States, although there were elements of the bill that could be applicable to the COVID-19 pandemic (here).

Following its initial proposal, the bill was reintroduced in the 2017-2018, 2019-2020, and 2021-2022 legislative sessions (here), (here), (here), (here).

Since it was first presented in 2015, the bill has remained in stalemate and never moved beyond the committee stage to the Assembly Floor. The bill has also only been proposed by Perry and has never had a co-sponsor.

For a bill to become law, it would have to progress through introduction, a committee stage and passage through the Assembly before being signed into law by the Governor (here).

Perry announced his intention to remove the bill from the calendar through a statement published via his social media channels on Dec. 21, 2021 (here), (here). He confirmed this to Reuters via email as well.

Per a statement to Reuters from Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Health Committee, the committee “does not plan to put the bill on an agenda … This bill has been introduced every year since 2015, has never been taken up by the Committee, has not been cosponsored by other legislators, and has not had a companion bill in the Senate”, according to Gottfried’s office.

The claim that assembly members would be voting to pass the bill also circulated in January 2021 and was debunked by PolitiFact (here).

The National Pulse, quoted by some social media posts making the claim, issued a correction on their article which reads: “A previous version of this article mentioned a vote on the bill on January 5th 2022, that is the date of the legislative session in general, not the date of the vote on Bill A416.” (archive.md/QeWw7)

VERDICT

Misleading. A bill is not being voted on in the New York State Assembly on Jan. 5, 2022 to detain unvaccinated people. Social media users have shared a bill that was first introduced in 2015 amid the outbreak of Ebola. The bill has never passed through the committee stage to the Assembly Floor and the sponsor of the bill has since announced his intention to remove the bill from the Assembly calendar in its entirety.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact-checking work here .

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