At a Friday press conference, President Donald Trump shot down rumors of an impending national lockdown.
“I don’t think we’ll ever find that necessary,” Trump said at the White House briefing, adding that most of the country does not have a rapidly multiplying coronavirus outbreak unlike major cities.
Reporter: “Is there any more consideration to a national lockdown to keep people in their homes?”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 20, 2020
“You go out to the Midwest, you go out to other locations, they’re watching on television but they don’t have the same problems. They don’t have, by any means, the same problems” Trump said.
Trump did declare a national emergency last week, allowing the federal government to free up emergency funds for coronavirus and take other urgent response measures.
Trump’s comments come after two states imposed some form of mandatory stay-at-home orders.
On Thursday night, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered all residents — nearly 40 million of them — to remain in their homes except for essential movement.
On Friday morning, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a similar order requiring all nonessential workers in the state remain at home, though leisure travel is still allowed.
Other states and major cities have taken measures to reduce crowds by limiting public gatherings, closing restaurants, bars, casinos and other places of business that attract crowds.
Trump also closed the northern and southern U.S. borders this week to non-essential travel in an effort to block potentially infected travelers.
Earlier this week, fake messages circulated Americans’ cell phones and social media claiming that a national mandatory quarantine would be going into effect. However, the White House National Security Council denounced the rumors.
— NSC (@WHNSC) March 16, 2020