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Trump Says He May Quarantine New York, Connecticut, New Jersey: ‘It’s A Hot Spot’

During his remarks to reporters before his departure to Norfolk, Va., President Trump said outside the White House that there was a “possibility that sometime today” there will be a two-week quarantine on parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images hide caption

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Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

During his remarks to reporters before his departure to Norfolk, Va., President Trump said outside the White House that there was a “possibility that sometime today” there will be a two-week quarantine on parts of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey.

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Updated at 6:49 p.m. ET

President Trump says he is “looking at” quarantining New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, which have developed as “hot spots” of the coronavirus outbreak.

“We’d like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hot spot — New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined,” Trump said Saturday outside of the White House before departing for Norfolk, Va.

At Naval Station Norfolk, the president spoke about the deployment of the USNS Comfort, a hospital ship destined for New York Harbor. The ship will support the taxed medical resources of New York City — which, with more than 29,000 confirmed cases and more than 500 deaths linked to the virus as of Saturday morning, has become the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday that statewide, “we have lost 728 New Yorkers to Coronavirus.”

The governors of Florida and Rhode Island have already announced that they are requiring travelers from New York to go into a 14-day quarantine. Cuomo also said Saturday that the state is postponing its presidential primary — originally scheduled for April 28 — back to June 23.

New Jersey has also seen a big spike in cases recently — with more than 11,000 confirmed, in all, at least 140 of which have resulted in the patient’s death.

“We might not have to do [the quarantine],” Trump told reporters Saturday, “but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine — short-term two weeks for New York, probably, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut.”

He added that “we wouldn’t” close the New York City subway and that “we’re not going to need” the National Guard, explaining that he plans to speak with Cuomo later.

Cuomo said that despite his recent conversations with the president about the hospital ship, he had heard nothing from Trump “about any quarantine.”

“I haven’t had those conversations,” the governor said at a separate news briefing Saturday in New York. “I don’t even know what that means.”

In a statement, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said he was looking forward to speaking to President Trump directly about his comments and future actions, “because confusion leads to panic.”

Lamont said he has already called on residents to stay home and has directed those who have to travel outside of the state to self-quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival.

Later in the day, at a news conference in Connecticut, Lamont said that he had spoken with a senior White House official, but had not yet spoken to the president directly.

“I can’t speculate on exactly what the president meant by a mandatory quarantine, but I can tell you that we are working together on this,” Lamont said. “I hope we have clarity from the White House before this night is over so that before the day comes people know exactly what they can expect.”

Across the country, almost, 120,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed, as of early Saturday evening — though health experts suspect the true extent of the virus is much larger, with the federal government still struggling to adequately supply testing kits, ventilators and personal protective gear for local health care workers.

When asked whether Trump has the authority to quarantine certain states, Mark Meadows, the president’s incoming chief of staff, told reporters, “We’re evaluating all the options right now.”

For now, Trump tweeted that the decision on a possible quarantine of three states “will be made, one way or the other, shortly.”



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