New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is pushing back on President Trump’s idea to quarantine his state amid the coronavirus pandemic, calling such an action a “federal declaration of war.”
On Saturday, Trump briefly mentioned he was considering an “enforceable” quarantine of three U.S. states — New York, New Jersey, and “certain parts of Connecticut” — to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
Such an action would effectively close the state off from interstate travel, forcing its residents to remain in the state until the quarantine is lifted.
In his remarks, Trump specifically called New York a “hot-spot” and said he was still “thinking about that right now.”
“We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine — short term two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey and parts of Connecticut,” the president continued, BizPac Review reports.
“This will be an enforceable quarantine, but hopefully we won’t need it,” he added.
JUST IN: Pres. Trump said "some people would like to see New York quarantined," adding: "There's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine—short-term two weeks on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut." https://t.co/vLYqHWrMao pic.twitter.com/jtyrwAVlZC
— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2020
CNN reports Trump reconsidered the option after “very intensive discussions” with his advisors.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, an expert on infectious diseases that is helping the White House to combat the spread of the coronavirus, said a quarantine of New York could create “a bigger difficulty” for the country.
“After discussions with the President we made it clear and he agreed, it would be much better to do what’s called a strong advisory,” Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper, as CNN reports.
“The reason for that is you don’t want to get to the point that you’re enforcing things that would create a bigger difficulty, morale and otherwise, when you could probably accomplish the same goal.”
According to the report, 56 percent of new infections within the U.S. are coming from the New York City area.
New York Gov. Cuomo quickly pushed back on a prospective quarantine, calling the idea “a civil war kind of discussion.”
“Look, if the president was considering this, I guarantee he would have called me,” Cuomo said per BizPac Review. “I mean, we talk about relatively trivial matters when it comes to dealing with this situation. This is a civil war kind of — this is a civil war kind of discussion.”
“I don’t believe that he could be serious, that any federal administration could be serious about a physical lock-down of states or parts of states across this country,” he continued. “I don’t believe it is legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don’t think the American people would stand for it. It’s just a question of time before you see the numbers growing in hot spots across the nation. So I think it makes absolutely no sense and I don’t believe any serious governmental personality or professional would support it.”
The New York governor said he would be open to suing the federal government over the decision, an action he argued would be followed by other states and cities that could also be subject to federal quarantines.
“I’ve sued the federal government many times, by the way, over the past few years. We’ve had quite a number of policy decisions. I do not believe it’s going to come to that on this,” Cuomo said per the report. “Again, I have been speaking to the president. This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war, and wouldn’t just be New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Next week it would be Louisiana with New Orleans, and a week after that Detroit, Michigan, and it would run across the nation. I don’t think the president is looking to start a lot of wars with states about now for a lot of reasons.”
BizPac Review adds:
Cuomo has been fighting back against remarks from the president implying that the governor has a stockpile of unused ventilators at a storage facility. While he claims Trump’s allegations were “incorrect and grossly misinformed,” he agreed that he did, in fact, have “ventilators in a stockpile” that hadn’t gone out to hospitals across the state. According to Cuomo, the hospitals haven’t needed them yet.
Daily Mail reports Cuomo ordered his residents to remain indoors for an additional two weeks as the number of infections grew 7,000 overnight and the death toll in his state hit 965.
According to the report, Cuomo remarked his extension was “not a lockdown” and again advised Trump to shy away from any travel restrictions.
“I know we feel under attack. Yes, New York is the epicenter and these are different times and many people are frightened,” the governor said. “But look this is New York, we have made it through far greater things.”
“We are going to be okay,” he continued. “We specialize in stamina in strength and instability. We are strong, we have endurance and we have stability. We know what we’re doing. We have a plan and any obstacle that we come across we will handle it.”
“There is no state in the nation that is better prepared” than New York, Cuomo added. “New York is going to have what it needs and no one is going to attack New York unfairly and no one is going to deprive New York of what it needs.”
Instead of a quarantine, Trump asked the CDC to issue a travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. They complied, telling residents to “refrain from nonessential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.”