U.S. President Donald Trump said Saturday that he is considering a short-term quarantine for the state of New York as the situation of the coronavirus outbreak continued to get worse there.
The president told reporters outside the White House that in addition to New York, "enforceable quarantine" might also be imposed on New Jersey and parts of Connecticut to curb the spread of the virus, adding he will make a decision later in the day.
"We're thinking about certain things. Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it's a hotspot. ... We might not have to do it, but 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," he said.
Departing for Norfolk, Virginia, to bid farewell to Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort that is heading to New York to help with the fight against the disease, Trump said he spoke with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the morning. "I'd rather not do it, but we may need it."
Cuomo, for his part, said at a news briefing in his state in the afternoon that he did not discuss the quarantine with the president.
"I haven't had those conversations," said Cuomo. "I don't even know what that means.
"I don't know how that could be legally enforceable, and from a medical point of view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing," he added. "Not even understanding what it is, I don't like the sound of it."
The governor told reporters that a total of 52,318 people in New York State have tested positive for COVID-19, including 29,766 in New York City. Death toll has reached 728 in the state, he said.
In the afternoon, Trump said on Twitter he is mulling the quarantine measures for the three states. "A decision will be made, one way or another, shortly."