President Donald Trump asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a “strong” travel advisory on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut on Saturday night after suggesting a federal quarantine on those states earlier in the day.
“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump said, walking back his earlier statements.
On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
....Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary. Full details will be released by CDC tonight. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
Two hours after Trump’s announcement, the CDC officially issued the travel advisory, urging residents to refrain from “domestic travel” for at least 14 days.
Workers who are considered “employees of critical infrastructure industries”, including truckers, public health professionals, financial service and food supply workers, are exempt from the advisory.
Domestic Travel Advisory: Due to extensive community transmission of #COVID19 in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, CDC urges residents to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. Read more: https://t.co/RAaIpQn6cj pic.twitter.com/a0eIYGzOa1— CDC (@CDCgov) March 29, 2020
Before leaving the White House earlier Saturday, Trump told reporters he was considering an “enforceable quarantine” of New York and the surrounding areas as part of a short-term plan to combat the coronavirus.
He told reporters he wanted to implement the measure in New York because of the extreme number of cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, in the state. He said surrounding states could be quarantined too.
“We’d like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot — New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut,” Trump told reporters outside the White House.
“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,” he added.
The plan would have restricted people in New York and other federally quarantined states from traveling to other parts of the country and would have not impacted truckers or interstate trade.
“They’re having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers are going down. We don’t want that. Heavily infected,” Trump told reporters.
“This does not apply to people such as truckers from outside the New York area who are making deliveries or simply transiting through,” he said. “It won’t affect trade in any way.”
Shortly after he announced plans for the quarantine, Trump tweeted that a decision about whether to quarantine the region would be made shortly.
“A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly,” he wrote.
I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE of developing “hot spots”, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2020
At his own press conference in Albany, New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said he didn’t “know what that means” when asked about Trump’s possible quarantine of New York.
“I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable. From a medical point of view, I don’t know what you’d be accomplishing,” he said. “But I can tell you, I don’t even like the sound of it. Not even understanding what it is, I don’t like the sound of it.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on President Trump saying he’s considering a possible short-term quarantine for New York: “I don't know how that could be legally enforceable. … Not even understanding what it is, I don't like the sound of it.” https://t.co/FZIPOnKW0h pic.twitter.com/RFD7r0xaEM— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) March 28, 2020
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