New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday in an interview with CNN that he didn’t believe a possible New York quarantine was legal and that it would be a “federal declaration of war” after President Donald Trump said he was considering such a tactic for the New York metro area.
“It would be chaos and mayhem,” Cuomo told CNN. “It’s totally opposite everything he’s been saying. I don’t think it is plausible. I don’t think it is legal.”
More than 52,000 of the nation’s 113,000 coronavirus cases have been reported in New York state alone. And officials are forecasting that the apex of the pandemic there is still 14 to 21 days away.
“As a governor, I’m not going to close off my borders,” Cuomo, a Democrat, told CNN’s Ana Cabrera.
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“This would be a federal declaration of war on states,” Cuomo said, adding that he doesn’t think the president is looking to start a war with states.
Trump said earlier Saturday that he’s mulling a short-term quarantine of “hot spots” in parts of the tri-state area — New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — where cases of coronavirus continue to rise.
“We’re thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot. … We might not have to do it, but 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,” he told reporters as he departed the White House for Norfolk Naval Station to send off a Navy hospital ship to New York.
“I’d rather not do it, but we may need it,” said the president, who later tweeted that “decision will be made, one way or another, shortly.”