COVID-19: Quarantine Of New York Is Unnecessary, Says Trump

US President Donald Trump speaks at a press conference on COVID-19, known as the coronavirus, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC, March 13, 2020. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

 

US President Donald Trump decided late Saturday against imposing a broad two-week lockdown on New York and its neighbors after a strong pushback from local political leaders and warnings of the panic it could spark.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, late Saturday advised residents of the region not to travel except for essential purposes.

“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump tweeted, about eight hours after he stunned the New York metropolitan region, the epicenter of the US coronavirus outbreak, with a proposal to place it under quarantine to prevent residents from leaving.

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Coronavirus Cases Rise To 97 As NCDC Confirms Eight More Infections

A lockdown of that type would have been the harshest measure yet taken by the US government to slow the spread of the disease.

Trump had indicated earlier that he was responding to worries in other states, particularly Florida, that travelers from the greater New York City area could spread COVID-19 in their communities.

He told reporters that “heavily infected” New Yorkers were a threat to Florida, a popular southern holiday destination for people in the northeast.

But after strong warnings from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Ned Lamont that the move would spark panic and cause further damage to financial markets, Trump reversed course and said there would only be travel warnings for the region.

“On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) to issue a strong Travel Advisory,” he said on Twitter.

The CDC then published its advisory which urged residents of the three neighboring states “to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.”

– US epicenter –

New York state has reported in excess of 53,000 cases of the new coronavirus, out of more than 124,000 nationwide.

New York City alone reported a surge of more than 155 deaths Saturday, taking the city’s total to 672, about one-third of the 2,185 fatalities across the United States, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Neighboring New Jersey has reported more than 11,100 COVID-19 cases.

Cuomo told CNN earlier that a lockdown on travel in and out of the global financial and trade hub would not be legal or make sense — especially since there are already local controls on movements.

“Why you would want to just create total pandemonium on top of a pandemic, I have no idea,” he said.

Lamont called New York City, New Jersey and southern Connecticut “the global capital of the world” for commerce and finance.

“If you care as much as the president does about getting this economy going again, you’ve got to be very careful about what you say and what you don’t say,” he said.

– ‘Don’t come here’ –

Yet Trump appeared to be echoing concerns in other states that visiting New Yorkers could exacerbate the spread of coronavirus.

In Rhode Island, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northeast of New York City, police and national guard members were knocking on doors of homes where cars had New York license plates to remind them of a requirement to self-quarantine.

Florida has a large population of retirees but has so far only reported slightly more than 4,000 new-coronavirus cases.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a political ally of Trump, issued executive orders this week mandating two-week self-quarantines for anyone arriving or recently arrived from New York and Louisiana, another US hotbed of the disease.

He said police will put up checkpoints along the state line to remind people of the requirement.

“All we are trying to do is keep our residents here safe. If you are coming from one of the epicenters… don’t come here because we are trying to protect our folks,” he said.

AFP

Akinola Ajibola

Disqus Comments Loading...

Recent Posts

  • Local

COVID-19: Abba Kyari Seems Well And Happy – Lagos Commissioner

  The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi has said that the Chief Of Staff to the President Abba…

1 hour ago
  • Coronavirus
  • Headlines

Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Rise To 135 As NCDC Confirms Four New Infections

  Nigeria has recorded four new cases of the COVID-19 pandemic increasing the number to 135 in 12 states. The…

2 hours ago
  • Local

First COVID-19 Patient In Oyo Discharged

  The Oyo State government has announced the recovery and discharge of the index-case of COVID-19 in the state. The…

2 hours ago
  • Coronavirus
  • Headlines
  • Politics

Buhari, Osinbajo Have Been Earning Half Salaries – Adesina

    President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been receiving half of their monthly salaries before the…

2 hours ago
  • Local

Osinbajo Defends Buhari, Says Lockdown Order Is Backed By Law

  Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has defended President Muhammadu Buhari over the lockdown on the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos…

3 hours ago
  • Coronavirus
  • Local

COVID-19: We Don’t Have Any Patient In Need Of Ventilators In Lagos – Health Commissioner

  As Nigeria continues to battle the spread of the COVID-19 disease, the Lagos State Commissioner for health, Akin Abayomi,…

3 hours ago