2 hours ago by DreamWorld
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Related TopicsCoronavirus pandemic
Media captionDonald Trump tells reporters he is "considering quarantine" for some areas
US President Donald Trump has said he is considering imposing a quarantine on New York state in a bid to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
"We'd like to see [it] quarantined because it's a hotspot," he told reporters. "I'm thinking about that."
He spoke as confirmed cases in the state increased to more than 52,000, about half of the total in the US.
But New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the idea was "preposterous", "anti-American" and a "declaration of war".
Mr Cuomo said the state had already implemented "quarantine" measures, such as banning major gatherings and ordering people to remain at home, but that he would oppose any "lockdown" efforts.
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"If you said we were geographically restricted from leaving, that would be a lockdown," Mr Cuomo told CNN on Saturday.
"Then we would be Wuhan, China, and that wouldn't make any sense," he said, adding that this would cause the stock market to crash in a way that would make it impossible for the US economy to "recover for months, if not years".
"You would paralyse the financial sector,"
What are Trump's 'quarantine' measures?
Mr Cuomo earlier told reporters that he had spoken with Mr Trump by phone, but that the president hadn't mentioned a state "quarantine".
"I haven't had those conversations," he said, adding: "I don't even know what that means."
Mr Cuomo said he would sue Rhode Island if the authorities there continued targeting New Yorkers and threatening to punish them for failing to quarantine.
Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has also described New York as a "hot zone", and has mobilised soldiers to seek out those leaving the state.
New York state has the highest number of cases of Covid-19 in the US.
Speaking before he left to visit a US Navy hospital ship in Virginia, Mr Trump said that "New Jersey [and] certain parts of Connecticut" could also be quarantined under the measures.
"We might not have to do it but there's a possibility that sometime today we'll do a quarantine — short term [for] two weeks," he said.
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But Mr Cuomo, who was holding a daily press briefing at the time of Mr Trump's comments on Saturday, expressed concern at the idea.
"I don't know how that can be legally enforceable," he said. "And from a medical point of view, I don't know what you would be accomplishing.
"But I can tell you I don't even like the sound of it. Not even understanding what it is, I don't like the sound of it."
New York State Governor Andrew CuomoImage copyrightEPA
New York's governor expressed concern at the idea of a quarantine
Mr Trump did not provide further details about what quarantining New York or other badly hit US states would look like.
But he said it would be aimed at slowing the spread of the virus to other parts of the US.
"They're having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers are going down. We don't want that," he said as he left the White House.
Similar quarantine measures in other countries have involved widespread closures, bans on public gatherings and major restrictions on travel in and out of the affected area.