by Chuck Ross
President Donald Trump said Saturday he is considering travel restrictions and a quarantine on New York, New Jersey and other states hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump told reporters that he hopes to not have to impose the restrictions, but he also said they could be implemented later on Saturday.
“I’m thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it, but there’s a possibility sometime today we’ll do a quarantine, short-term, two weeks on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut.”
The restrictions would be the heaviest imposed to date during the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused more than 1,700 deaths in the United States.
Trump said he spoke earlier Saturday with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo about the situation in his state, which is at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. Trump also talked with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has expressed concern about heavy travel from New York to the southern state.
“Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hot spot. New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut, quarantined,” Trump said.
The Republican said any order would restrict travel “because they’re having problems down in Florida.”
“A lot of New Yorkers going down. We don’t want that. Heavily infected.”
“This would be an enforceable quarantine. I’d rather not do it, but we may need it.”
Cuomo said Saturday that New York has confirmed 52,318 cases of coronavirus in the state. New Jersey has the second-highest case total of any state, with 8,825. New York City alone is nearing 30,000 cases. Just over 110,000 cases have been reported in the entire United States.
The White House coronavirus task force on Wednesday recommended that New Yorkers self-quarantine for 14 days if visiting outside states.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Thursday signed an executive order that will legally require travelers from New York to self-quarantine in Rhode Island for 14 days. The order authorizes the Rhode Island highway patrol to pull over vehicles with New York license plates. The National Guard will also begin going door-to-door on Saturday to screen for New York visitors.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “New York National Guard Members” by New York National Guard. CC BY 2.0.