ROBOCALLS COULD OBSCURE CONTACT TRACING EFFORTS  

By Dr. Louis Alpert

Ombudsman

In previous columns, OMBUDSMAN ALERT addressed the critical need for the abolition of all Robocalls, citing numerous reasons familiar to many of our readers.

If we fast track to 2020 and the age of COVID-19, a new  criticism of Robocalls  emerges  that shows their existence threatens our urgent pursuit to track down individuals who were in close proximity to a COVID-19 infected individual and may not have been aware of this fact. This is known as contact-tracing of the COVID-19 virus.

The rationale for this criticism is that many telephone consumers will not even answer their phone if the Caller ID does not indicate a familiar number because they suspect the call may be an unwelcome Robocall. The pervasive nature of Robocalls could thus deter folks from answering a legitimate contact-tracing call!

OMBUDSMAN ALERT believes that this newest criticism of Robocalls must now be addressed by our local federal and New York State legislators, including Congresswoman Nita Lowey, New York State Senator David Carlucci and Assemblypersons Ellen Jaffe and Kenneth Zebrowski.

The Ombudsman Alert requests the four legislators cited above to file appropriate legislation to abolish all Robocalls, so as not to clog our phone lines and deter our fight against the COVID-19 virus.