In the wake of the reckoning that destroyed the Independent Democratic Conference led by our former state Sen. Jeffrey Klein, only two members of that Republican-friendly group remained standing: Staten Island’s Diane Savino and Rockland County’s David Carlucci.
Savino has stayed under the radar, returning to the senate’s Democratic conference, but Carlucci has his sights set on higher office — the U.S. House of Representatives, in fact. And he’s doing everything he can to build a resume to convince voters he should succeed Nita Lowey.
That includes introducing what has to be one of the most absurd bills sent to a senate committee in a very long time.
Carlucci is pushing S.8253 which is intended to give business owners the chance to kick out any employee, vendor or even customer if they display a body temperature of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carlucci, who is not a doctor and never attended medical school, says allowing businesses to opt-in to demanding medical data from anyone walking through its doors is a way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The senator cited a study from Wuhan University showing fever was present in 99 percent of patients who developed COVID-19. Under his logic, every square is a rectangle, and every rectangle is a square.
A fever is indeed one of several symptoms of COVID-19. But a fever also is a symptom to thousands of other infections, and non-viral medical conditions like heat exhaustion, rheumatoid arthritis, or even some medications like antibiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic.
And let’s not forget epidemiologists strongly believe SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted from person to person, even if the infected person shows no symptoms at all — including fever.
Carlucci wants businesses to have the right to conduct medical screenings of anyone they choose, and deny service to them based on that medical condition.
Imagine if a drug store operated under this law. You don’t feel well, maybe your arthritis is acting up, and you need to pick up some corticosteroid prescription from the pharmacist.
You arrive at the front door, but a security officer stops you. They put a thermal strip on your head, and find you have a mild fever. You tell them you have arthritis, and that’s a common symptom. But nope, you are asked to leave, because you might have the coronavirus.
Carlucci is completely off-base. There is only one place his temperature-taking bill should be filed, and that’s the trash can.