With New York joining over a dozen states that have delayed primary elections in view of coronavirus outbreak, it is being believed that the US Presidential election could also be delayed, which is scheduled to take place on November 3.
A smaller group including Ohio, Georgia, Louisiana, Connecticut, Maryland, Rhode Island, Indiana and Kentucky have already postponed their presidential primaries.
As coronavirus cases rose in the national epicenter of New York, President Donald Trump surprised governors of the state and neighboring New Jersey and Connecticut by saying Saturday that he might impose a quarantine on their residents before tweeting later in the day that a travel advisory was the way to go.
Trump’s comments about a quarantine led New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to call it illegal and “a federal declaration of war.”
The travel advisory urges residents of the three states to avoid all but essential travel for two weeks.
Meanwhile, Cuomo postponed New York’s presidential primary from April to June, and nurses made anguished pleas for more protective equipment and rebuffed officials’ claims that supplies are adequate.
With New York cases expected to mushroom toward a mid-to-late-April peak, Cuomo took a manual-pump air mask in hand to show what might lie in store if needed ventilators don’t arrive.
Trump told reporters at the White House he was weighing the idea of a quarantine to prevent people in the tri-state area from traveling for a short time.
Late Saturday, though, he tweeted that he’d decided to go with a travel advisory.
The travel advisory urges residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to immediately avoid any nonessential travel for two weeks.
All 50 U.S. states have reported some cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, but New York has the most, with over 52,000 positive tests for the illness and more than 700 deaths. About 7,300 people were in New York hospitals Saturday, including about 1,800 in intensive care.
The federal government has the power to take measures to prevent the spread of communicable diseases among states, but it’s not clear whether that means Trump can order people not to leave their states.
Trump cited requests from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican and outspoken Trump supporter who has complained about New Yorkers coming to his state amid the outbreak and ordered them to isolate themselves on arrival for 14 days.
Trump said he had spoken with Cuomo, but the Democratic governor said there had been no talk of a quarantine when the two spoke Saturday morning.
The governor said roping off states would amount to “a federal declaration of war,” arguing 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.
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 it on track, the governor added.
“Why you would just create total pandemonium on top of a pandemic, I have no idea,” Cuomo said. Cuomo said he was delaying the state’s presidential primary from April 28 to June 23, when the state plans to hold legislative congressional and local party primaries.
“I don’t think it’s wise to be bringing people to one location to vote” on the April date, he said.
The governor’s decision came as election commissioners across New York warned they were “risking” their health and safety to meet impending deadlines for testing machines and preparing ballots ahead of the April 28 date.
Cuomo also says he’s signing an executive order instructing hospitals to allow at least one partner into delivery rooms.