Is this Michigan, or China? Latest Whitmer order has bar, restaurant customers handing over their personal info

by WorldTribune Staff, November 3, 2020

Papers, please!

A new covid order went into effect in Michigan on Monday. It requires anyone asking to be served in a bar or restaurant to provide their name and phone number to their server.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer / C-SPAN

The latest marching orders from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer “is simply reminiscent of how the government monitors the personal movement and behavior of citizens — in China,” Jazz Shaw noted in a Nov. 3 op-ed for HotAir.

The customers are being required to hand over their personal information to help contact tracers as they investigate potential virus spread, the Whitmer administration said.

The new order also forces Michigan restaurants to limit serving to six people per table, down from 10. Customers, meanwhile, are asked to wear masks unless they’re taking a bite or a drink, instead of keeping masks off only while seated.

The order also limited crowd sizes at indoor events like banquets, weddings and conferences to 50 people, down from 500.

Violations of the order are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to six months in jail.

“This isn’t for all businesses in the state, mind you. It’s only the food and beverage service industry,” Shaw noted.

While the Whitmer administration is describing this as “targeted action” directed at portions of the economy most vulnerable to virus transmission, “it’s still a case of the government singling out particular businesses for restrictions while others are not,” Shaw wrote. “People go into grocery stores every day that have the same social distancing and maximum occupancy restrictions as bars or restaurants. Why aren’t they collecting the contact information for all of the shoppers? The same could be said for most any other type of business that’s allowed to be open now.”

Shaw continued:

“What the state government is doing is turning a bunch of private-sector employees into de facto law enforcement officials when they have no training in that area. I seem to recall howls of protest when Texas police were asking suspected illegal immigrants to see their ‘papers.’ But now your waiter gets to do that when you’re suspected of nothing other than ordering a sandwich? A lot of intrusive authority is being delegated to people who are probably very uncomfortable with the notion, to say nothing of having no related experience or training.

“This is an authoritarian state maneuver I’d expect to see out of North Korea or China, not one of the fifty states in America.”

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