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.
The President is talking about something he has no authority to do. The sooner we stop talking about it, the better… https://t.co/Syxba8aN6c— Tom Nichols (@Tom Nichols) 1585419454.0
We really shouldn't laugh this off. Trump has been trying to gain extraordinary power since his first day in offic… https://t.co/DsJxBGwA2b— Joe Lockhart (@Joe Lockhart) 1585421534.0
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.
Trump just said he is considering “ordering” a two-week “enforceable quarantine” of NY, NJ and CT to “restrict trav… https://t.co/6iEzEbrX7H— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner) 1585415956.0
Other medical experts noted that such a quarantine wouldn't even be effective at this point.
#ThatWomanInMichigan is @GovWhitmer. I ran against her. And though we may not always agree on everything, I know ho… https://t.co/DaN0RpLiLA— Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil (@Abdul El-Sayed, MD, DPhil) 1585413533.0
Just a few days ago, Trump wanted to reopen America on Easter Sunday and have “packed churches all over our country… https://t.co/lUC2E7AI6m— Eugene Gu, MD (@Eugene Gu, MD) 1585419740.0
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 seriously instead of focusing on a likely to be unenforceable NY quarantine, why not just get us the 30,000 ven… https://t.co/Sp9jBOgV7s— Julie Menin (@Julie Menin) 1585420456.0
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.
Cuomo denies speaking to Trump about possible NY quarantine, as President just claimed. Cuomo: “I don’t even know what that means”— Jonathan Lemire (@Jonathan Lemire) 1585414384.0
🚨🚨 WATCH: Gov. Cuomo DENIED speaking to TRUMP about a possible quarantine of New York. 'I don't even know...what th… https://t.co/PaqV1NeBrx— Peter Morley (@Peter Morley) 1585422063.0