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CDC issues travel advisory for New York tri-state area as Trump backtracks on quarantine

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President Donald Trump speaks in front of the U.S. Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va., Saturday, March 28, 2020. The ship is departing for New York to assist hospitals responding to the coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says, “A quarantine will not be necessary” in coronavirus hotspots New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Instead, he directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government.”

To that end, on Saturday night, the CDC announced a domestic travel advisory in those states—retweeted by Vice President Mike Pence—urging residents “to refrain from non-essential travel for the next 14 days.”

The notion of quarantine had been advocated by governors, including Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who sought to halt travelers from the heavily affected areas to their states. But it drew swift criticism from the leaders of the states in question, who warned it would spark panic in a populace already suffering under the virus.

Trump announced he reached the decision after consulting with the White House task force leading the federal response and the governors of the three states.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who criticized the federal government’s response as his state became the country’s virus epicenter, says roping off states would amount to “a federal declaration of war.” Cuomo said the prospect of a quarantine didn’t come up when he spoke with Trump earlier Saturday, adding that he believed it would be illegal, economically catastrophic, “preposterous,” and shortsighted when other parts of the U.S. are seeing cases rise, too.

“If you start walling off areas all across the country, it would be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, anti-social,” Cuomo told CNN. He added that locking down the nation’s financial capital would shock the stock market and “paralyze the economy” at a time when Trump has indicated he’s itching to get the economy back on track.

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