Gov. Cuomo: I Don’t Believe Trump Is Serious About Locking Down NYC, But If He Tried, ‘It Would Be Total Mayhem’


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo appeared on CNN Newsroom with Ana Cabrera on Saturday to respond to reports that President Donald Trump was considering a “quarantine” for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut because of the coronavirus pandemic — and needless to say, he is not a fan of the idea.

Cuomo, who reiterated his comments earlier in the day that Trump had not consulted with him before announcing the potential plan, told Cabrera that “geographically confining people,” like the president was suggesting, was not technically a quarantine, but rather a lockdown, and compared it to the way that the communist government in China locked down Wuhan, or the way that travel and trade were restricted during the Civil War.

Furthermore, Cuomo added, “that wouldn’t make sense — this is a time the president says he is trying to restart the economy. New York is the financial sector. You geographically restrict a state, you would paralyze the financial sector.”

Noting the recent stock market downturns, Cuomo said locking down New York would devastate the markets even further, causing them to “drop like a stone.”

“I think it would paralyze the economy,” said the governor. “I think it would shock the economic markets in a way we’ve never seen before.”

“I don’t even believe it’s legal,” added Cuomo, who previously served as the Attorney General of New York.

He also cited practical considerations, the sheer enormity of the task of stopping all goods coming into the tri-state area.

“As a governor, I’m not going to close off my borders,” he said. “Trucks have to come in, food has to come in, mail has to come in. I’m not going to put health and safety of my people at risk.”

“I think it would be exactly opposite everything the president is talking about,” said Cuomo, “So I can’t believe he is considering that…it would be exactly opposite everything he has said and everything he has done to date, and it will be totally counter productive.”

“I mean, it would be chaos and mayhem. And that would drop this economy in a way, I think, that wouldn’t recover for months, if not years. So it is totally opposite everything [Trump] has been saying. I don’t even think it is plausible, I don’t think it is legal, and it would really be total mayhem. I don’t have another word for it.”

Cabrera asked Cuomo if he had discussed this with Trump, and Cuomo responded that he had “literally spoke to him just a few minutes before” he had made the remarks to reporters about considering locking down New York, etc., but had not mentioned the subject to Cuomo at all.

Later in the interview, Cabrera followed up with Cuomo to ask if he planned to call the president about this potential lockdown.

Cuomo: “Look, if the president was considering this, I guarantee he would have called me. I mean, we talk about relatively trivial matters when it comes to dealing with this situation. This is a civil war kind of discussion.”

Cabrera: “So you don’t believe he really is serious about it?”

Cuomo: “I don’t believe that he could be serious, that any federal administration could be serious about a physical lockdown of states or parts of states across this country. I don’t believe it’s legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don’t think the American people would stand for it. It’s just a question of time before you see the numbers [of coronavirus cases] growing in hot spots across the nation. So I think it makes absolutely no sense and I don’t believe any serious governmental personality or professional would support it.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

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