NY Area Dodges Quarantine Order for Now
NY Area Dodges Quarantine Order for Now
The tri-state region of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut has become the epicenter for COVID infection in the United States. In fact, that’s where over half the confirmed cases in the US are found. So President Trump considered issuing a quarantine for the three states, but NY governor Andrew Cuomo pitched a fit about the notion. Trump then backed off.
I’m not sure if Trump ran that idea past his legal advisors or not; sometimes I think he talks off the top of his head. But here’s what he said early on Saturday:
Well, that idea didn’t fly. Cuomo said that an enforced quarantine would be “chaos and mayhem” and a “declaration of war on states.” Interesting that big government-loving Cuomo suddenly found federalism, but there you go.
So Trump discarded the idea, saying that it “wasn’t necessary.” Instead, he asked the Centers for Disease Control to issue a “strong travel advisory” for residents of NY, NJ, and CT.
“On the recommendation of the White House CoronaVirus Task Force, and upon consultation with the Governor’s of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, I have asked the @CDCgov to issue a strong Travel Advisory, to be administered by the Governors, in consultation with the Federal Government. A quarantine will not be necessary.”
Late on Saturday, the CDC complied, issuing this statement:
“Due to extensive community transmission of COVID-19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately.”
Also on Saturday, Gov. Cuomo got into a pissing match with Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo over that state’s policy of stopping drivers with NY license plates. Her measures also employ National Guard stationed at the RI airport, Amtrak, and bus terminals in order to question travelers. As Raimondo said, “Right now we have a pinpointed risk. That risk is called New York City.”
She means business, and he’s threatening to sue, of course. Cuomo calls her order “reactionary” and “illegal.”
It shouldn’t come as a shock that the governor of Rhode Island doesn’t want New Yorkers in her state. Nor should it surprise anyone that President Trump floated the idea of a quarantine, especially for NY, since New York City is turning into an inferno of disease.
As of Saturday night, the city has more than 30,000 cases of coronavirus with 672 deaths. But those taking the brunt of the storm are the paramedics.
They’re taking a massive amount of emergency calls — almost twice the normal volume. On top of that, they’re making life-and-death decisions as to whom to transport to the hospital, or is well enough to leave at home. They also have to decide whether or not to intubate a patient, or if they’re too sick to save.
What’s even worse is that they’re doing so without adequate protective gear. So they’ve been rationing their equipment. “It’s a war zone,” said one paramedic.
Moreover, their greatest fear is that they may be bringing infection home to their families. As paramedic Phil Suarez said:
“I honestly don’t know if I’m going to survive. I’m terrified of what I’ve already possibly brought home.”
Suarez, you should note, has been in the field for 26 years. He also assisted with rescue after 9/11 and served in the Iraq war. Yet this brave man is frightened, and rightfully so.
But there are those who continue to do senseless things. Like the 47 people who crowded into a New Jersey apartment, holding a “corona party.” And party they did — even a DJ was on hand. But police broke up the festivities, while Gov. Phil Murphy — who had previously issued an executive order banning social events — tweeted this:
“Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are. NO CORONA PARTIES. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid. We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads.”
Plus, in NYC itself another buffoon held a “corona potluck” at his trendy East Village apartment. He sent out invites which read:
“They can’t diagnose us all. Don’t wash your hands. … Bring your fav dish!”
One of the attendees boasted:
“When Britain was being bombed by Nazi Germany during the blitz, they kept the f–king stores open. People went about their lives. We get a flu … and we shut everything down. … We have completely handed over our civil liberties … and anyone who wants to go out and live a normal life is semi-ostracized.”
Except COVID-19 is not the flu. And, unlike a virus, the British could tell the bombers were coming. Meanwhile, beleaguered paramedics have to do their best to rescue stupid people who play stupid games and win stupid prizes.
I don’t know how constitutional President Trump’s proposed quarantine for NY, NJ, and CT would have been. But it’s perfectly rational. Now, will residents in that three-state area honor the CDC’s advisory? Or will some flaunt it as just another silly rule that doesn’t apply, especially to tough New Yorkers?
Featured image: Photoshopped image/used by permission of artist.