Experts pour cold water on Trump's proposal to lock down New York with a two-week quarantine
US President Donald Trump holds a press conference on COVID-19 in the Rose Garden of the White House on March 13, 2020. AFP / SAUL LOEB

On Saturday, President Donald Trump raised the possibility that he might impose a quarantine on the states of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to contain the spread of coronavirus. But his suggestion has not met a receptive audience from experts.

Conservative Naval War College professor Tom Nichols pointed out that Trump doesn't have the authority to order such a quarantine in the first place. And former White House Press Secretary Joel Lockhart noted if it did happen, it would be stunningly authoritarian.

Former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner noted the absurdity of such a quarantine, given that Trump's stated reason was to prevent New Yorkers from traveling to Florida — the only reason this is occurring is because Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has resisted shutting down public spaces, incentivizing people in states with tougher lockdowns to travel there.

Other medical experts noted that such a quarantine wouldn't even be effective at this point.

New York City Census Director Julie Menin suggested the president should give New York the health care equipment it needs, rather than trying to isolate its population.

And New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo — whom Trump had claimed he had discussed the idea with — emphatically denied any involvement in the president's suggestion.