Coronavirus: President Trump’s U-Turn on New York Quarantine
President Trump backs down after saying he is considering a quarantine on New York and two other states.
He has said quarantining New York “will not be necessary”, after Governor Andrew Cuomo said doing so would be “preposterous”.
The president said the latest decision was taken on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.
Donald Trump had earlier said he might impose a quarantine on New York, and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut, to slow the spread of Covid-19.
There are more than 52,000 cases in New York.
New York has about half of the total confirmed Covid-19 cases in the entire US.
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President Trump tweeted that instead of quarantine, a “strong travel advisory” would be issued to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by the CDC.
The CDC then published a statement urging residents of those three states to “refrain” from all non-essential domestic travel for 14 days.
It said the advisory did not apply to “critical infrastructure” service providers, including healthcare professionals and food suppliers.
Speaking to reporters on March 28 about the situation in New York, President Trump said: “We’d like to see [it] quarantined because it’s a hotspot… I’m thinking about that.”
He said it would be aimed at slowing the spread of the virus to other parts of the US.
He said: “They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers are going down. We don’t want that.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo responded by saying that quarantining the state of New York would be “preposterous” and “anti-American”.
“If you said we were geographically restricted from leaving, that would be a lockdown.”
The governor said New York had already implemented “quarantine” measures, such as banning major gatherings and ordering people to remain at home, but that he would oppose any “lockdown” efforts.
Andrew Cuomo told CNN: “Then we would be Wuhan, China, and that wouldn’t make any sense.”
He added that this would cause the stock market to crash in a way that would make it impossible for the US economy to “recover for months, if not years”.
“You would paralyze the financial sector,” he said.
Governor Cuomo added later: “I don’t know how that can be legally enforceable. And from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing.
“But I can tell you, I don’t even like the sound of it.”
He also said he would sue nearby Rhode Island if the authorities there continued targeting New Yorkers and threatening to punish them for failing to quarantine.
On March 27, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo deployed National Guard troops to stop cars with a New York license plate, to remind them of their state’s advice that they quarantine.
Soldiers are going door-to-door in coastal vacation communities to ask if any residents have recently visited New York City.