ELMHURST, IL — State Rep. Deb Conroy, a Democrat from Elmhurst, has become the target of death threats in response to her proposed change to a health law.

On Thursday, Springfield-based political blogger Rich Miller documented the threats on his Capitol Fax website.

Conroy’s amendment would give local health departments the right to access data from the state Department of Public Health. The language would be incorporated into an old law that deals with quarantines.

That law has long stated the state department has the power to "isolate or quarantine persons who are unable or unwilling to receive vaccines, medications or other treatments." This, the law says, is to "prevent the spread of a dangerous or infectious disease." Conroy’s bill introduced none of that language.

But the conservative Illinois Review website contended that she brought forward those old provisions in House Bill 4640.

"If HB 4640 were to become law, persons exposed to an infectious disease could be placed under Public Health Department observation, only possible in a contained atmosphere with Department watch guards, some suggest such as a concentration camp," the website said Monday.

In a private Facebook message to Conroy, which Capitol Fax posted, a man wrote, "You come after my family there’s one thing you better bring and that’s a lot of body bags!!!"

Another person emailed Conroy, saying, "You’re the one who belongs in a camp!! For God Hating, America Hating Scum!!! Our medical information is none of your damn business!!!! Take your bill and shove it up your a–!"

In a letter to Fran Eaton, co-founder of the Illinois Review, Conroy said she and her staff have been the subject of dozens of death threats because of the Illinois Review’s "flagrantly false post."

"It would have taken no more than 5 minutes to verify what the bill did and where it was coming from, but instead you chose to publish false information, I assume with the intention of enraging people in the hopes they would further spread your misinformation," Conroy said.

She said the bill allows local health departments to share data.

"It does not give any local body the authority to violate someone’s privacy rights and certainly does not allow for anyone to be detained," Conroy said.

The Illinois Review posted Conroy’s letter and condemned threats to people’s lives. In its new post, the Illinois Review no longer raised the possibility of a concentration camp.

But it did not walk back the previous story.

"What is the point of such a system if NOT to impose health guidance, which could very well include isolation if the empowered county or state agencies deemed it necessary?" Eaton said.

The first story remains on the Illinois Review website.

Patch has left a message for comment with the Illinois Review.

via Elmhurst, IL Patch

February 4, 2022 at 06:44PM