Trump quarantine of New York would accomplish little, experts say

“I don’t even know what that means,” he said to reporters, adding that he “doesn’t like the sound.”

Lawrence Gostin, professor of health law at Georgetown University, immediately questioned the constitutionality of state-imposed quarantines. tweet that it would probably not be constitutional without Congress approval.

But conservative legal scholars like John Yoo of the University of California at Berkeley claim that the president can block interstate travel through the public health law to prevent the spread or transmission of disease from one state to another. Governors can continue to set up quarantines within their state borders.

Joyce Lee Malcolm, a professor of constitutional law at George Mason University in Virginia, noted that even critics of the Trump administration have asked that war powers be used to induce manufacturers to manufacture medical devices such as masks and ventilators, and military hospital ships To use state support.

“Many people tend to forget that the federal system really comes into play here,” said Malcolm. “They either want the President to do a lot of what should be left to the states, or they feel that he is going too far.”

Trump’s quarantine plan came after Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, recommended earlier this week to all travelers leaving New York that they should go into 14-day quarantine to curb the spread of the virus.

Governors from Texas, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Florida this week ordered 14-day quarantines for some or all travelers from other countries.

Trump’s idea reflected how China sealed off the Hubei province, the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, from the rest of the country in February to curb the spread of the virus. Trump told reporters on Friday that he had discussed the coronavirus response in depth with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Later on Saturday, Trump said he was going to take a decision on the quarantines “very quickly,” adding that if he did so, it would not affect trade.

In the meantime, his vague references to such important measures only caused more confusion amid a federal response that public health experts have already criticized as arbitrary and unfocused.

“It’s just extremely irresponsible as a risk report,” said Konyndyk. “It’s like a reality TV teaser. And I guess it’s effective as reality television, but profoundly ineffective as governance.”

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