Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, defended President Trump’s proposal to quarantine New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, saying the commander-in-chief was trying to keep people safe from the quickly spreading outbreak.
“I think President Trump wanted all of America to know where the virus is and where it is expanding rapidly and really felt like everybody had to be aware and have a travel advisory,” she said Saturday on Fox News’ “Justice with Judge Jeanine.”
“I’ve been talking to the governors. It was clear the governors felt together that they could actually keep their people safe and at home, like they all have asked their people to shelter in place and keep themselves safe.”
Trump backed off his day-long calls for a quarantine for the tristate area on Saturday, opting instead for a travel advisory from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Trump’s plan sparked criticism from the three governors, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying it was akin to starting a “civil war.”
The CDC order urges citizens in the three states to abstain from non-essential travel for 14 days.
Birx cautioned Americans to take the coronavirus threat seriously.
“Even if you don’t think … there’s a virus there, it probably is,” Birx said. “We don’t think any city will be spared from this virus.”
New York, with more than 53,000 cases, has the most in the country. New Jersey has 11,124 and Connecticut has 1,524.