President Donald Trump just made a big move in the fight against the further spread of the deadly coronavirus.
After having floated the idea of imposing a quarantine on New York and nearby parts of the northeastern United States, Trump has now decided instead to issue a travel warning for the region, according to Reuters.
A quarantine considered
It is no secret that New York has been the state hardest hit by the coronavirus. According to the Daily Mail, New York has seen over 53,000 cases of the illness with over 900 deaths.
With this in mind, reports began to emerge on Saturday that President Trump was considering perhaps the boldest step yet in trying to slow the spread of the virus: quarantining New York state and the surrounding metropolitan area from the rest of the country. Included in this quarantine would also have been parts of New Jersey as well as parts of Connecticut, which has not seen infection numbers as high as New York or New Jersey, but does have a large population of residents who are in close and frequent contact with others in the tri-state area.
It wasn’t long after Trump made the suggestion, though, that intense criticism of the idea began, led primarily by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who has slammed the Trump administration’s response frequently throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“If you started walling off areas all across the country it would be totally bizarre, counter-productive, anti-American,” Cuomo said in reference to reports about the proposed federal action, according to The Guardian.
Trump opts for travel advisory
Soon after discussion of such a quarantine commenced, however, President Trump announced that no such restrictions would be put in place after all.
“A quarantine will not be necessary,” he tweeted.
Rather than sectioning off a portion of the country, the president instead decided to ask the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a “strong travel advisory” for New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey — and that is precisely what the CDC did.
Now, the residents of these three states have been asked to “refrain from non-essential domestic travel” for a period of 14 days, according to NBC News.
The crisis continues
An alarming milestone was reached last week, as it was reported that the United States now leads the world in terms of confirmed coronavirus cases.
With more than 125,000 infected, the U.S. has surpassed the number of cases documented in the second-most affected nation, which is Italy, according to the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S., however, is managing to keep its death tally relatively low, at roughly 2,200, while Italy recently saw its total fatalities exceed the 10,000 mark, according to Reuters.