Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City is pushing back on claims his government is instituting draconian policies like forcing churches to register the names of attendees and turn them in for tracking purposes in the event it’s needed, but his own words and policies say otherwise.
Although we can’t vouch for the reporting of other news organizations who have covered this national story, in our own piece we stated clearly and accurately, “As Kansas City begins reopening, the local government is requiring every church who wishes to provide services to turn in when asked a detailed list of every person who enters their building for services, including name, phone number, and address, so city officials can use it for surveillance and tracking purposes. Failure to comply could result in up to 6 months in jail and the church being completely shut down.”
The 10/10/10 order instituted in the city specifically states:
“In-person religious gatherings (including weddings and funerals) may resume, subject to the 10/10/10 rule (if held inside) or limited to 50 people outside, provided social distancing precautions are followed and event organizers maintain records of all attendees.”
The churches are forced to maintain these records so that if someone from their congregation does contract the coronavirus, it will enable the Kansas City Health Department “to more quickly trace, test, and isolate individuals.”
According to the city’s own FAQ, failure to comply with giving them the records when asked “constitutes an imminent threat, creates an immediate menace to public health, and shall be considered a violation of Section 50-155 of the City’s Code of Ordinances,” which is a $500 fine and up to 6 months in jail.
Kansas City journalist Mark Alford indignantly rejected a key part of this story, arguing: “Kansas City is NOT, I repeat NOT, requiring pastors and church leaders to turn in names of people who are members or regular attendees of a church.”
This is only true in a preemptive sense, in that churches don’t have to preemptively hand in their records to government officials, or do so on an ongoing, regular basis. But if someone is going into a church and spending more than 10 minutes, the church MUST record that name and MUST hand it in to health authorities when asked, under penalty of fines or JAIL.
Alford also included a text message from the Mayor, which confirms exactly everything that we have been saying.
The mayor also appeared yesterday on a townhall with 41 Action News – KSHB-TV with Kevin Holmes and Dia wall. The news anchors were asking about the order which has earned national attention. We read:
Question– “You recently announced the 10/10/10 rule… how is the city enforcing these rules and will there be penalties if businesses (and churches) do not comply?”
Answer – “In connection with how we would enforce these rules in Kansas City, we recognize a lot of it is going to be voluntary compliance, and I’ve talked to folks who have salons, or folks who have any number of businesses in Kansas City, who already are doing things like purchasing masks, and gloves, making sure that spaces are going to be separated enough, so that’s how we’re going to initially do it. Our next step will be, as we always have had, the 311 system. You can call 311 if you feel that something’s not being followed either at your workplace or a place you like to go to a lot. We would follow up by trying to talk to that business, trying to make sure that they correct and address those issues, and then only after that escalating that to some further follow up including potential fines.”
You can see this clip and a few other relevant questions in the first 5 minutes of the video below:
It’s pretty clear. If you don’t follow the order, you can get snitched on through the 311 number, and while Mayor Lucas only mentions fines as further escalation, the FAQ mentions jail time.
While the 10/10/10 dictate is being couched in softer terms by the mayor who is being scrutinized and receiving negative attention for his policies, it doesn’t change the fact that the order itself is tyrannical and that the mayor has twice confirmed our initial reporting.
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