Just as Michigan’s charming Governor Gretchen Whitmer flipped from her self-righteous anti-hydroxychloroquine stance to one demanding the drug from Donald Trump, it appears public pressure – brought, in part, by Donald Trump, Jr. -- has seen her back off a massive, cozy state contract to track Michigan residents during the pandemic.
Because, well… you know how important it is to get medical records without a warrant, contrary to the wording of the Fourth Amendment, and you know how key it is to hand government graft to friends in high places.
According to the Free Beacon, on Tuesday, Ms. Whitmer smiled her way through a nice, fat, dismissal of the Bill of Rights, even as she handed a lucrative package to some Democrat-connected data giants.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer this week awarded a coveted coronavirus tracking contract to a noted Democratic consultant and information firm, raising concerns that the commission, which is meant to help track and halt the disease's spread in the state, may be poised to reap political benefits for the Democratic Party from its gathering of COVID-19 intel.
The Whitmer administration announced Monday that it had awarded a contract for contact tracing in the state to Every Action VAN, an arm of the Democratic data behemoth NGP VAN. The liberal firm works with all of the major Democratic campaign committees and hundreds of labor unions across the country, according to its website, and will "help organize remote phone banking and track information and contacts" for Michigan, a state press release said.
And, as Daniel Payne noted on Tuesday for Disrn:
The group's head, Stu Trevelyan, is currently managing Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's voter outreach and fundraising efforts. NGP VAN was previously paid by Whitmer's 2019 gubernatorial campaign, according to state finance records.
What a complete surprise!
And this did not go unnoticed by Donald Trump, Jr., who soon Tweeted a link to the information and added:
It certainly was. And the outcry became so loud, Whitmer has, like she did with hydroxychloroquine, reversed course.
Later in the day – in fact, on Tuesday evening – Adam Ford followed-up for Disrn, reporting that Whitmer had canceled the contract, which was evidently for tracking and further data collection, and which not only gave rise to worries of glad-handing with politically-connected pals, but also gave rise to worries about the second portion of the work: the data collection.
As Disrn reported Tuesday afternoon, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had awarded a coronavirus tracing contract to a noted Democratic consultant and information firm called NGP VAN, raising concerns that the commission, which is meant to help track and halt the disease's spread in the state, was poised to harvest political intel for the Democratic Party from its gathering of COVID-19 data.
And so Whitmer has backed-off again.
But does anyone thinks she’s backed-off the idea that it’s perfectly acceptable to collect private medical information, without a warrant?
This is something to remember, beyond this pandemic. In 1996, Republicans and Democrats in DC colluded to pass the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, known as HIPAA in medical centers. Its Orwellian title hid two things.
First, it claimed for the feds the power to interpose between you and your private medical contractor to arrange forwarding and sharing of your medical information based on you own agreements, replacing a federal dictate telling medical service providers that they had to get your “consent” before they could share your medical data with others.
But that’s something you could work out yourselves, through private agreements with your medical providers, just like the sharing of any other secret one might with people. You don’t need the government telling you how to do it, and there’s no power in the Constitution allowing such a requirement.
Second, in the statute, which was passed in ’96, but wasn’t instituted until 2014 with the implementation of Obamacare, the feds claim the power to collect your medical data at any time.
So this “privacy” protection statute openly claims the power to collect your private information, sans a warrant.
Long live the Bill of Rights, ladies and gentlemen.
So, despite this kerfuffle passing in MI, there’s a greater lesson to remember when one hears discussion about “tracking” people.
That opens a door to the fact that the federal government claims the power to invade our privacy and collect our data at any time.
Enjoy that Bill of Rights, all. Evidently, it looks very pretty when politicians burn it to cinders.