A PowerPoint produced by the school suggests scaling up the university's intrusive contact tracing system for use across the United States. Its file name, "2020-12-14 Shield Biden Covid Team," indicates that it was presented to the Biden team in December, amid an ongoing search for solutions to a seemingly insoluble problem: how to stop the virus without stopping the economy? The presentation proffered an answer.
The school's system uses a mobile app that records test results and Bluetooth data to determine who has been exposed to the virus—and "links building access" on campus to that information. Local businesses have also embraced it, making entry conditional on a "safe status" reading from the app.
It's unclear how such a scheme would play with liberal activists. While it represents the sort of ambitious, nationwide COVID response Biden has said he wants, it also threatens to exclude far more Americans from public life than measures like voter ID laws, which progressives have decried as the "new Jim Crow."
Only 11 percent of Americans do not have a government-issued ID, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, whereas 19 percent don't own a smartphone. Widespread adoption of the app could ice nearly a fifth of the United States out of the economy, never mind the polling booth.