Trump says he may quarantine New York, New Jersey and Connecticut
President Donald Trump said Saturday that he had spoken with some governors and was considering some type of an enforceable quarantine to prevent people in New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut from traveling. Trump told reporters at the White House that it would be for a “short period of time, if we do it at all.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday he was considering imposing a two-week quarantine on New York as well as portions of New Jersey and Connecticut as part of further efforts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump said he was considering placing a two-week enforced quarantine on New York, which he called a "hot spot," at some point later on Saturday. The quarantine might also apply to parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
"This would be an enforceable quarantine," Trump said from the White House. "I'd rather not do it, but we may need it."
The number of coronavirus cases reached over 52,000 in New York, the U.S. epicenter of the outbreak, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Saturday.
By Saturday afternoon, the sum of total known coronavirus U.S. cases had soared to 115,842, eclipsing the toll the disease has taken on China and Italy. At least 1,929 lives had been lost in the United States, according to a Reuters tabulation of official data.
Asked whether the military would be deployed to enforce any new quarantine in New York, Trump said. "We're not going to need much. And the people in New York they understand it better than anybody and they'll be great." Trump added that he planned to discuss the issue with Cuomo later in the day.
Trump appeared less certain about an earlier pledge to try to reopen U.S. businesses by April 12. "Well, we're going to see what happens," Trump said. "We want to get our country back to work."
Trump said that while most companies were assisting in combating the epidemic, he said he may have to invoke the Defense Production Act to compel one or two companies to produce further medical supplies.
"We have a couple of little problem children, and we'll use it where we have to," he said. "But, overall, I tell you, the private free enterprise system is at work like nobody has seen in a long time."