Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) threatened Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI) with a lawsuit over a new state quarantine policy, which would involve using the police and National Guard to track down people fleeing to Rhode Island from New York and forcing them to self-quarantine.
“We’re talking to Rhode Island now. If they don’t roll back that policy, I’m going to sue Rhode Island,” Cuomo said on CNN Saturday evening, reports the radio station 101Wins. “No state should be using police to limit interstate travel.”
During a press conference announcing the policy, Raimondo noted that Rhode Island would be instructing anyone returning from outside the state to self-quarantine for 14 days, but elaborated that special measures would be taken to enforce the policy as it pertains to people leaving from New York, as The Daily Wire previously reported.
“Starting today at noon, state police are monitoring our highways, they’re at the base of the Newport Bridge, they are on the side roads in Westerly, and they will be pulling you over if they see that you have New York plates, and asking you for your contact information, and ordering you into quarantine if you plan to stay in Rhode Island,” said Raimondo.
“Starting tomorrow, the National Guard will be working with local law enforcement going door-to-door in our coastal communities, asking people if they’ve come from New York, and asking for their contact information,” said the governor.
According to The Washington Examiner, Raimondo announced that she had “pinpointed” New York City as a specific risk to public health, and admitted that the quarantine policy was unorthodox: “I know it’s extreme, and I know some people disagree with it. If you want to seek refuge in Rhode Island, you must be quarantined.”
In a press release, Steven Brown, the executive director of the Rhode Island ACLU, criticized Raimondo’s move as an unconstitutional measure and violation of civil liberties, referring to it as a “blunderbuss approach.”
According to The New York Times, President Trump floated a similar-sounding proposal, informing White House reporters on Saturday that he was considering quarantine and travel-restriction measures for New York, and potentially New Jersey and portions of Connecticut.
“I’d rather not do it,” said the president, who maintained that it was possible, but did not provide details of what he was envisioning, reports the news agency.
As The Daily Wire has previously reported, Cuomo implied the president’s suggestion wasn’t serious and compared the move to a declaration of war on the states.
“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,” said Cuomo. “I don’t believe it is legal. I think it would be economic chaos. I don’t think the American people would stand for it.”
“I’ve sued the federal government many times by the way over the past few years, we’ve had quite a number of policy decisions,” said Cuomo. “This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war, and wouldn’t just be New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, next week it would be Louisiana with New Orleans, and [the] week after that Detroit, Michigan, and it would run across the nation.”