Donald Trump spoke to the press on Saturday and suggested that he might enact an enforceable quarantine on coronavirus hot spots in the northeast.
Trump was speaking on the White House lawn when he was asked by Kelly O’Donnell, White House correspondent for NBC News, if the governors of states with whom he is reportedly having a disagreement should be “concerned at all.”
The president replied that he didn’t think so and that most of the governors were appreciative of the work he had done so far.
He added that he had spoken with the governor of New York and the governor of Florida about some ideas to control the spread of the virus.
“As I said, I just spoke with Andrew Cuomo, I just spoke with Ron DeSantis. We’re thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s the hot spot. New York, New Jersey, maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined,” he said.
He then added that a quarantine in those regions was on the table.
“I’m thinking about that right now. We might not have to do it, but there’s the possibility that sometime in April we’ll quarantine,” he said.
He said that it may be necessary to restrict travel between the states for several weeks because New Yorkers are traveling to Florida and “we don’t want that.” Florida hasn’t been as strict as some other states about limiting travel.
He went on to add that he has provided additional medical supplies to the states that may end up being quarantined.
When O’Donnell asked if the quarantine would be enforceable, Trump replied that it would.
“I’d rather not do it but we may need it,” he concluded before heading to the helicopter.
O’Donnell also reported that the president did not repeat his timeline goal of having the country “open” again by Easter.
Yesterday, reports surfaced that Trump asked Vice President Mike Pence to not reach out to any governors who haven’t shown appreciation for his coronavirus efforts. This reportedly includes Jay Inslee of Washington and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan.
At a press briefing, Trump repeated the idea, apparently saying that he believed if governors don’t “treat you right, I don’t call.”
He expanded to say that anyone who doesn’t show appreciation of his efforts is also slighting the federal government and the military.
The news has prompted some to speculate that states run by governors with whom Trump disagrees may see less federal assistance than those who are run by governors who support the president.