New York’s Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed that if President Trump followed through with a quarantine of New York that he had mentioned on Saturday, it would be tantamount to a “federal declaration of war.” Cuomo’s reaction came in an interview on CNN in which he also said that if Trump called him to talk about such a move, it would be a “civil war kind of discussion.”
Trump subsequently announced that there would be no quarantine of New York, New Jersey, or parts of Connecticut, but that a 14-day travel advisory would instead be issued by the CDC in which those states’ residents will be asked to refrain from non-essential travel.
Listen to the president’s comments that raised the hackles on the leftist governor …
JUST IN: Pres. Trump said "some people would like to see New York quarantined," adding: "There's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine—short-term two weeks on New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut." https://t.co/vLYqHWrMao pic.twitter.com/jtyrwAVlZC
— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2020
“Look, if the president was considering this, I guarantee he would have called me,” Cuomo said. “I mean, we talk about relatively trivial matters when it comes to dealing with this situation. This is a civil war kind of — this is civil war kind of discussion.”
“I don’t believe that he could be serious, that any federal administration could be serious about a physical lock-down of states or parts of states across this country,” the governor continued. “I don’t believe it is legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don’t think the American people would stand for it. It’s just a question of time before you see the numbers growing in hot spots across the nation. So I think it makes absolutely no sense and I don’t believe any serious governmental personality or professional would support it.”
Cuomo said that he would not hesitate to sue the federal government if necessary. “I’ve sued the federal government many times, by the way, over the past few years. We’ve had quite a number of policy decisions. I do not believe it’s going to come to that on this. Again, I have been speaking to the president. This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war, and wouldn’t just be New York, New Jersey, Connecticut. Next week it would be Louisiana with New Orleans, and a week after that Detroit, Michigan, and it would run across the nation. I don’t think the president is looking to start a lot of wars with states about now for a lot of reasons.”
Saturday evening, the president tweeted that “a quarantine will not be necessary.”
On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 29, 2020
New York to sue Rhode Island?
The New York governor also indicated that he was prepared to sue the state of Rhode Island for a new policy that has police stopping cars with New York plates and National Guard troops going door to door looking for travelers from New York.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said that the actions were intended to ensure people coming from New York would self-quarantine for 14 days when arriving. “I want to be crystal clear about this. If you’re coming to Rhode Island from New York, you are ordered into quarantine,” she said. “The reason for that is because more than half of the cases of coronavirus in America are in New York.”
“That’s a reactionary policy,” Cuomo commented. “I am concerned about people with the virus coming to my state, right? That’s a reactionary policy and I don’t think that’s legal. We’re talking to Rhode Island now. If they don’t roll back that policy, I’m going to sue Rhode Island because that clearly is unconstitutional. I understand the goal. And I could set up my borders and say I’m not letting anyone in until they take a test to see whether or not they have the virus. But there’s a point of absurdity, and I think what Rhode Island did is at the point of absurdity. Again, it is not legal. They’re a neighboring state, I’m sure we’ll be able to work it out, but I think we need balance in this. I understand people are nervous, anxious, it is a frightening situation, but we have to keep it in focus, we have to keep the ideas and policies we implement positive rather than reactionary and emotional.”
He added: “I think what they did was wrong, it was reactionary, illegal, but we’ll work it out amicably, I’m sure. We have conversations going back and forth. No state should be using police to prohibit interstate travel in any way. No state should be able to say, you know, I’m going to use my police to make sure you don’t come in with a license plate.”
Author: Victor Rantala