Cuomo on tri-state area 'enforced quarantine': 'I don't believe it would be legal'

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo rings bell as NYSE reopens to big gains The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US death toll nears 100,000 as country grapples with reopening Watch Live: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives coronavirus update MORE (D) said Saturday that an enforced quarantine for the state and its adjacent neighbors might not be legal after President TrumpDonald John TrumpMulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump An old man like me should be made more vulnerable to death by COVID-19 MORE proposed a similar measure earlier Saturday.

Trump said he's considering a short-term quarantine of "hot spots" in parts of the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — states with fluid populations near New York City — where cases of COVID-19 and deaths due to the disease continue to rise at an alarming rate.

The measure suggested by the president would be travel based, meaning people in their respective states would be unable to travel anywhere outside the state's borders in the country.  

ADVERTISEMENT

"A lockdown is what they did in Wuhan, China," Cuomo told CNN during an on-air interview Saturday. "We’re not in China, and we’re not in Wuhan. I don't believe it would be legal. I believe it would be illegal."

Cuomo said litigation against the administration is not out of the question.

“I've sued the federal government many times over the past few years. ... I don’t believe it’s going to come to that on this,” he said. “This would be a declaration of war on states, a federal declaration of war.”

More than 52,000 of the nation's 113,000 confirmed coronavirus cases have been reported in New York state alone, predominantly in New York City.

ADVERTISEMENT

"As a governor, I'm not going to close off my borders," he added. 

The president tweeted Saturday that a "decision will be made, one way or another, shortly" about whether he would impose a lockdown. 

On Friday, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that any person entering the state will be instructed to self-quarantine.