Balancing civil liberties and Covid-19 shutdowns

What's unfortunate is these measures, "rarely seem to go back in the box they came from when the emergency is over," says Matthew Feeney from the Cato Institute.

The Randy Tobler Show
May 20, 2020 - 5:45 am

(KFTK) –  Cato Institute's Matthew Feeney joined Randy this weekend.  Dr Tobler was especially initerested in his piece, How Should Civil Libertarians Respond to Pandemics?

Feeney pointed out that in the past, liberties that were limited in earlier emergencies, it took some time for them to return.

"Winston Churchill warned before the brunt of World War 2 that the British people would have to suffer some infringements on their freedoms in order to fight Hitler," says Feeney. "What's unfortunate, if you look at some of the tendencies of these measures, they rarely seem to go back in the box they came from when the emergency is over.  For example, the British government imposed national ID cards as a measure to help fight the Nazis, but they didn't get repealed until the '50s"

Feeney and Randy wonder if the actions taken elsewhere to help track the Covid-19 outbreak would work here in the US, including apps on phones.

"I think we're just to late along in this pandemic for that to even be effective," says Feeney "this kind of blue-tooth contact tracing, app-based tracing,  We're so many weeks into this in the United States that actually if we did implement it now, I think it just wouldn't have the desired effect. That's in large part because the pandemic is so widespread.  If you downloaded an app that told you every time you were within a certain distance of someone who tested positive for this, there's going to be tens of millions of Americans who get the alert."


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