Fact check: H.R. 6666, the TRACE Act, would not force coronavirus-carriers into quarantine

Chelsey Cox, USA TODAY

The claim: H.R. 6666 will force people into quarantine

Speculation about the proposed measures in House Resolution 6666 made the rounds on social media shortly after it was introduced this month.

The claim that people who have been in contact with a person who tested positive for the coronavirus would be forced to quarantine appeared on Facebook. It was also mentioned in a Facebook livestream May 8 by Dr. Rashid Buttar.

Other Facebook users have posted the same claim in discussing the impacts of the TRACE Act. 

What is H.R. 6666?

House Resolution 6666, also known as the COVID-19 Testing, Reaching and Contacting Everyone (TRACE) Act, is a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., on May 1. It features a $100 billion grant program for health and medical centers, nonprofit groups and other health care service providers to establish mobilized coronavirus testing units and train staff in contract tracing.

Contact tracing is the practice of tracking down and alerting people an infected individual came in contact with, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact check: Bill Gates did not craft contact tracing bill

Will people who test positive for the coronavirus be forced to quarantine?

"They're going to use that to pull you or your loved ones – especially your children – away under pretense of public safety," North Carolina physician Buttar said of routine testing.

Buttar claimed the legislation would allow "people" to come into your home if you had symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. He said children would be removed from parents who tested positive, or authorities would take "your grandmother or your father or you and put you into quarantine."

Buttar has touted the idea that the flu vaccine can trigger a false positive for coronavirus, but this is false.

More: States are reopening, but many require travelers to self-quarantine. Here's where

Section 2 describe's the legislation's purpose: "The Secretary of Health and Human Services, acting through the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, may award grants to eligible entities to conduct diagnostic testing for COVID–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts."

The bill's text does not state or imply that the government will put people in quarantine or remove members of households to put them into quarantine. 

"This bill does not authorize anyone to enter your home, for whatever reason, without your permission, nor does it allow the government to remove anyone from your home because of the coronavirus," according to a news release from Rush's office.

Instead, mobile testing units would service people without access to a testing center or those unable to leave their homes. Testing would be "completely voluntary," according to the news release.  

"The bill does not force you or your loved ones to do anything at all. With that being said, if you or a loved one does have  the coronavirus, it is advised that you do self-quarantine and maintain social distance from others," the statement said.

Our rating: False

We rate this claim FALSE because it is not supported by our research. The TRACE Act proposes awarding grant money to health care entities to expand coronavirus testing and contact tracing. Testing is not mandatory, and contact tracing would serve to alert people who might have been in contact with someone infected with the coronavirus.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: TRACE Act won't force COVID-19 carriers into quarantine