CDC proposes indefinite detainment, forced vaccination, unlimited surveillance for travelers

David Dees VaccinesWe have until October 14 to give the CDC feedback on its proposed rule. Go to and tell CDC what you think! 

By Chiara King

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its quarantine regulations. These Proposed Rules will allow CDC and its agents to perform MANDATORY public health screenings on any man, woman, or child who is traveling interstate via aircraft, train, or bus, and will allow CDC to apprehend and DETAIN individuals on the basis of such screenings. These Proposed Rules will greatly expand CDC’s power, which already includes the ability to apprehend and detain people for certain “quarantinable” communicable diseases, where the President controls which diseases are deemed “quarantinable” by Executive Order.

Mandatory Public Health Risk Assessments

The CDC seeks to perform mandatory public health risk assessments everywhere that people “queue” with others engaging in interstate travel. Essentially, CDC believes that the idea of warrantless, suspicionless airport searches should extend to mandatory physical exams for communicable diseases. The Notice makes clear that consent will be implied by a person’s presence in a given location, and cannot be revoked by simply walking away. CDC seeks to apprehend anyone who fails the mandatory screening or appears to be an “ill person,” which would include having a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or greater, being warm to the touch, having glassy eyes, having a rash, going to the restroom numerous times, or simply being “obviously unwell.” A person could also be apprehended without physical symptoms, so long as the officer has some reason to believe that the person was exposed to a quarantinable communicable disease.

Apprehension Justified For Possibly Being Sick

A person may be apprehended before they are communicable, if the disease might cause a public health emergency if transmitted to others. In its proposed new definition of “public health emergency” CDC seeks to include any disease (not just quarantinable disease) that has “documented or significant potential for regional, national, or international communicable disease spread.” CDC thus seeks to apprehend individuals on the basis of mere transmissibility of disease, regardless of the relative dangerousness, or non-dangerousness, of that disease.

Unlimited Detention With No Legal Recourse

Once apprehended, an individual must wait for the issuance of a Federal order. The individual is not free to leave, nor free to discontinue his or her discussion with the public health officer. CDC anticipates a maximum wait time of 72 hours, but admits that there is no maximum time period in the actual Rules. There is no mention of whether the apprehended individual could contact the outside world; where he or she would be kept while awaiting Federal orders; or whether an apprehended child’s parents would be permitted to be present. There is also no requirement for a medical examination to take place to confirm the presence of disease prior to the issuance of a Federal order.

Forced Agreement To Treatment, Including Vaccination

The CDC also seeks to introduce the concept of an “agreement,” where a person under Federal order would sign his or her agreement to whatever health measures CDC deems necessary, including vaccination. CDC reserves its right to compel these measures without the quarantined person’s actual agreement, however. People who sign these CDC agreements will also indicate their understanding that failing to abide by the agreement’s terms will lead to Federal criminal penalties. Unwary people could thus easily subject themselves to the entire recommended CDC vaccine schedule on pain of Federal prosecution.

No Legal Protection For Citizens

A person caught up in this web of Federal bureaucracy would face an undefined legal nightmare, under active detainment and threat of force. The CDC has an indefinite time to produce a Federal order, and then CDC conducts an internal review 72 hours after the order is issued. It is only here – after potentially six days of detention – that an individual could protest their confinement on the simple grounds of mistaken identity or not being in contact with an infected individual. Even at this point, called a medical review, there is still no opportunity for an individual to seek the assistance of the courts, because such review is intended as medical fact-finding only.

Having The Measles Could Mean Permanent Detention Or Vaccination

Considering that a disease’s potential to create a public health emergency is immediate grounds to apprehend and detain affected individuals under the Proposed Rules, it is especially noteworthy that CDC considers “every case of measles in the United States [to be] a public health emergency because of its extremely high transmissibility.” Thus, measles is characterized in a way that explicitly justifies apprehension, even though measles is not a quarantinable communicable disease. The only way that this makes sense is if CDC’s imminent intent is to advise the President to issue an Executive Order declaring measles to be a quarantinable disease. It bears consideration that this is the very point of these Proposed Rules – to intimidate anyone who dares forgo the MMR vaccine with apprehension and detention.

Unprecedented Power Grab For Full Police Power Over Citizens

The CDC is proposing an unprecedented power grab without even the barest of constitutional protections. If the CDC gets its way, it is anyone’s guess how many people will be apprehended for having a head cold, the flu, or food poisoning during travel, and end up getting every last one of CDC’s recommended vaccines, on pain of Federal prosecution, for daring to travel interstate while sick.

Go to and give CDC a statement.

Details and further legal analysis by Chiara King are on the following page

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