Cuomo: Statewide Quarantine from Trump Not Legally Enforceable, Medically Beneficial
by Dan Clark • Published on March 28, 2020 • 0 Comments
Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to reporters Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Credit: Dan Clark
After President Donald Trump said Saturday he was considering a statewide quarantine in New York, New Jersey, and possibly Connecticut, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed back on the concept, saying it may not be legally enforceable or carry any medical benefit.
Trump told reporters early Saturday that such a quarantine would restrict travel from those areas to prevent further spread of COVID-19 to other states.
“Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot,” Trump said. “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.”
Trump said he had discussed the possibility with Cuomo, who told reporters at the state capitol Saturday that wasn’t the case.
“No, I haven’t had those conversations,” Cuomo said. “I don’t even know what that means.”
Cuomo told reporters he had spoken to Trump just moments before starting his daily briefing Saturday, and that the pair had talked about four new sites for temporary hospitals in New York and the expected arrival of the USNS Comfort in New York Harbor Monday.
When asked how he would feel about a statewide quarantine, Cuomo said he didn’t know what that would mean but that he didn’t like the sound of it. He questioned whether such an order would carry medical value or be legally enforceable.
“I don’t even know what that means. I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable and, from a medical point of view, I don’t know what you would be accomplishing,” Cuomo 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.”
Trump, according to reports, didn’t offer details on what a statewide quarantine would look like, and whether such an order would also be intended to restrict travel throughout New York.
Rhode Island is reportedly seeking out individuals who’ve traveled there from New York and ordering them to undergo a mandatory quarantine out of an abundance of caution. The state is going as far as visiting homes in coastal communities and tracking licenses plates, according to reports.
“I have heard that,” Cuomo said of those reports. “I don’t know any details about that.”
Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide, said they’ll be reaching out to the office of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo Saturday to parse out the situation.