US President Donald Trump has said he is considering imposing a quarantine on New York state in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus few hours before reversing on the move.
“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump tweeted, about eight hours after he stunned the New York metropolitan region — the epicenter of the US outbreak — with a proposal to place it under quarantine.
“We’d like to see [it] quarantined because it’s a hotspot,” he had earlier told reporters. “I’m thinking about that.”
He spoke as confirmed cases in the state increased to more than 52,000, about half of the total in the US.
But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the idea was “preposterous”, “anti-American” and a “declaration of war”.
Cuomo said the state had already implemented “quarantine” measures, such as banning major gatherings and ordering people to remain at home, but that he would oppose any “lockdown” efforts.
“If you said we were geographically restricted from leaving, that would be a lockdown,” Cuomo told CNN on Saturday.
“Then we would be Wuhan, China, and that wouldn’t make any sense,” he said, adding that this would cause the stock market to crash in a way that would make it impossible for the US economy to “recover for months, if not years”.
“You would paralyze the financial sector,” he said.