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WATCH: NY Gov. Cuomo Calls Trump's Bluff on a Quarantine of the Northeast

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

President Donald Trump on Saturday floated the idea of quarantining parts of the Northeast – New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut – as a means of preventing the Wuhan coronavirus from spreading outside that epicenter. Although Trump said he has yet to make a decision on whether or not he would move forward with a plan, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo – a Democrat who has repeatedly praised Trump's handling of the virus  – said he doesn't believe the president will actually implement the proposal.


"I wouldn't even believe it's legal. You have a provision, states' rights, interstate commerce, etc. so it's a preposterous idea, frankly. And, again, it's totally opposite [of] what the president wants to do, which is work with the states, help the states, get the economy running, and bring some sense of stability," Cuomo explained during a segment on CNN. "You wouldn't, at this point, literally fracture the entire nation because it's not just New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, right?"

According to the governor, this could set a precedent for similar quarantines to take place in other parts of the nation, like in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is starting to see a spike in positive Wuhan coronavirus cases.

"If you start walling off areas all across the country, it would be totally bizarre, counter-productive, anti-American, anti-social. It wouldn't even be productive," he said. 

Right now, the State of New York has conducted more testing than any other state in the country. They have also tested more people per capita than South Korea and China. Cuomo believes that once other states start testing to the same degree that the Empire State is, Americans will learn just how prevalent the Wuhan coronavirus truly is.


If President Trump was serious about implementing this quarantine, Cuomo said he'd "guarantee" that the president would have called him to discuss the situation. 

"We talk about relatively trivial matters when it comes to dealing with this situation," the governor explained. "This is a civil war kind of discussion."

The CNN host pressed Cuomo on whether or not he believed Trump would pull a trigger on a quarantine in the Northeast.

"I don't believe that he could be serious, that any federal administration, could be serious about physical lockdowns of states or parts of states across this country," he replied. "I don't believe it's legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don't think the American people would stand for it."

Cuomo reiterated his thoughts that it would be impossible to quarantine various sections of the country. In his eyes, it's only a matter of time before other major hot spots take place across the nation as testing increases.

"I don't believe any serious governmental personality or professional would support it," he said.


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