Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) on Saturday, April 25, called out some local municipalities for using Chinese drones to surveil residents in response to the CCP Virus pandemic.

“We have to understand that Americans have to be able to go outside again and interact with one another at safe distances, with exquisite hygiene, but that we cannot fundamentally change American life and my concern, governor, is that particularly at the local government level, we’re starting to see some real infringements on people’s liberties,” Gaetz told host Mike Huckabee.

“Whether it’s telling folks that they can’t hang out in their own backyard, or, even in some cases, municipalities have used Chinese drones and video surveillance to spy on people in their own backyards … or how about in New York City where the government was actually setting up snitch lines for neighbors to rat out other neighbors?” he continued.

Police in Elizabeth, N.J., are using drones to surveil people not social distancing in areas their patrol cars cannot access. People gathering in their backyard would hear a drone say “you should not be congregating in groups,” those who failed to comply could face a court summons or a $1,000 fine, reported the MSNBC. 

The police department in Lewes, Delaware, is also using drones to fly over bike trails and beaches. In Connecticut, police use drones to warn individuals caught violating social distancing rules.

Chinese company Da Jiang Innovations (DJI) has donated drones to 43 law enforcement agencies operating in 22 U.S. states to enforce social distancing guidelines, according to the National Review

Last May, the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo warning that DJI was “selectively targeting government and privately owned entities within these sectors to expand its ability to collect and exploit sensitive U.S. data.” 

“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s truly a wake-up call about our relationship with China. Whether it’s the need to re-domesticate our supply chain, whether it’s the need to pull funding from joint ventures like the Wuhan Institute of Virology where they had our resources but then didn’t share information with the world about the sequencing of this virus, or whether it is in fact Chinese technology in our country deployed by Huawei, or deployed by other Chinese companies in the form of telecommunications, or yes, even video drones,” Gaetz said.

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