The city of Newark, NJ has threatened individuals who spread unapproved information about coronavirus with criminal prosecution as panic regarding the virus increases.
Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose issued the threat against individuals posting on social media and urged others to rat out people who post unauthorized narratives to the thought police.
“Any false reporting on coronavirus in our city will result in criminal prosecution,” Ambrose said. “We are putting forth every investigative effort to identify anyone making false accusations on social media to ensure that any posted information is immediately addressed.”
Ambrose wants Newark residents to remain in fear so that freedom of speech is quelled, and his bureaucracy can control the flow of information. This way, any information about incompetence or mismanagement from the city government cannot be accessed.
“The State of New Jersey has laws regarding causing a false public alarm and we will enforce those laws. Individuals who make any false or baseless reports about the coronavirus in Newark can set off a domino effect that can result in injury to residents and visitors and affect schools, houses of worship, businesses and entire neighborhoods,” he added.
The entire press release can be viewed here:
The city of Newark, NJ, cracking down on coronavirus disinformation:
“Any false reporting of the coronavirus in our city will result in criminal prosecution,” Director Ambrose said. pic.twitter.com/iCMAN1aRBL
— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) March 10, 2020
Earlier this week, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency over the coronavirus pandemic.
“The state of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” Murphy said about Executive Order No. 103, which opened up state resources to help public health officials combat the spread of coronavirus.
“My administration will continue to work closely with our federal partners to ensure that local health agencies on the front lines of the state’s response are equipped with the resources needed to further prepare our health care system for a broader spread of COVID-19,” the Governor added.
New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli confirmed that there are five new cases of coronavirus that have been found in the state in recent days.
“The new cases are concerning but they’re not unexpected,” Persichilli said.
The individuals who have been afflicted with coronavirus include an 18-year-old Clifton resident who has not needed to be hospitalized because of his infection; a 48-year-old Berkeley Heights resident with Italian friends who needed to be hospitalized; an 83-year-old Hazlet resident who is still hospitalized; a 30-year-old Teaneck resident who is currently hospitalized; and a 27-year-old Little Silver man who is also hospitalized and receiving treatment.
While the spread of coronavirus is scary enough, government bureaucrats using the crisis as an excuse to destroy fundamental rights such as freedom of speech may be even more frightening.
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Rhode Island Police Targeting New Yorkers for Mandatory Coronavirus Quarantine
State police will scrutinize New Yorkers arriving in the state.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed an executive order on Thursday that establishes strict mandatory quarantine rules for those arriving in the state from nearby New York.
“Anyone coming to Rhode Island in any way from New York must be quarantined,” said the governor at a press conference. “By order. Will be enforced. Enforceable by law.”
The executive order will require New Yorkers to identify themselves to state law enforcement or National Guard personnel and place themselves into self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. The Empire State is the national ground zero for the Chinese coronavirus epidemic, and Rhode Island’s government appears highly skeptical of New Yorkers fleeing from the state.
Governor Raimondo admitted that the executive order is an “an extreme measure,” but justified its implication on the basis of the coronavirus epidemic’s severity. “I don’t want anyone to panic. If anything, Rhode Islanders should breathe a sigh of relief. We are doing things to keep ourselves safe.”
National Guard personnel are being posted at the state’s major airports, and state police are stopping passenger traffic that enters from New York. Law enforcement will follow up with New York residents that enter the state to ensure that they’re complying the law.
Raimondo established real penalties for New Yorkers that violate the self-quarantine rule, subjecting them to a maximum penalty of a $500 fine or even 90 days in prison.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo expressed his disapproval of the move, claiming it unfairly singles out New Yorkers in a time when Americans should be uniting to combat the coronavirus epidemic.
“I don’t like it socially or culturally. I don’t like what it says about us as one state, one family. Also, I don’t believe it’s medically justified.
Florida, Maryland, Texas and California have enacted similar public health measures that scrutinize New Yorkers, but Rhode Island’s appears to be the most forceful to enter effect thus far.
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