Washington, Mar 28 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Saturday that he was weighing the idea of imposing a quarantine on New York state, which accounts for more than 40 percent of all Covid-19 cases in the United States.
“We’re thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot,” he told reporters at 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 on New York. Probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut. This would be an enforceable quarantine. I’d rather not do it, but maybe we need it,” Trump said.
He added that the restrictions on movement in and out of the designated area would not affect shipment of goods.
The US surpassed Italy this week as the country with the most confirmed cases, though the illness has claimed more than 10,000 lives in the European nation compared with 1,900 in the United States.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US stood at more than 119,000 on Saturday, according to the independent tally kept by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
New York state’s coronavirus death toll increased by more than 200 overnight to 728, officials said Saturday, while Covid-19 cases topped 52,000.
While the Empire State, and New York City in particular, have adopted what is probably the most sweeping lockdown in the country, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reacted angrily to Trump’s talk of a regional quarantine.
“It would be chaos and mayhem,” Cuomo told CNN. “If we start walling off areas all across the country it would just be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social.”
The governor said that isolating New York, the country’s financial hub, would run counter to Trump’s desire to restart the US economy, and likewise questioned the legality of a regional quarantine imposed by Washington.
“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 physical lockdowns of states or parts of states,” Cuomo said. “I don’t believe it’s legal, I believe it would be economic chaos, I don’t believe the American people would stand for it.” EFE