Members of the Coronavirus Task Force, charged with leading the U.S. response to the coronavirus pandemic, are holding a briefing Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, one day after President Trump said he was considering, then backed away from, imposing a quarantine on the New York metro area in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Before departing the White House on Saturday to see off the Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort, which is bound for New York, Mr. Trump told reporters there was a “possibility” he would enforce a quarantine of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, as the Empire State is the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
The suggestion was swiftly panned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who called the idea “preposterous” and questioned the legality of such a move. Hours later, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that a “quarantine will not be necessary” and instead said he directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue a “travel advisory.”
How to watch the Coronavirus Task Force briefing
What: Coronavirus Task Force members hold a press briefing
Date: Sunday, March 29
Time: 5:00 p.m. ET
Location: White House, Washington, D.C.
The advisory urges residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. It does not apply to residents working in “critical infrastructure industries” such as trucking, public health, financial services and food supply.
There are more than 124,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University, including more than 53,000 in New York state alone. More than 2,100 people in the U.S. have died of the illness, including an infant in Illinois, considered to be the youngest fatality.
The U.S. now ranks above Italy and Spain for the highest number of coronavirus cases.