Trump won't follow N.J. quarantine order, White House says

President Trump
President Trump

The White House said Wednesday that President Donald Trump will not change his plan to travel to New Jersey this weekend despite a new order by the governor requiring visitors who have been in states with high numbers of coronavirus cases to quarantine for 14 days.

“The president of the United States is not a civilian,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said when asked about Trump’s compliance with the quarantine order given his travel Tuesday to Arizona, which has seen a rise in the rate of its Covid-19 cases.

“Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative,” Deere said in a statement.

“With regard to Arizona, the White House followed its COVID mitigation plan to ensure the president did not come into contact with anyone who was symptomatic or had not been tested,” the spokesman added.

“Anyone traveling in support of the president this weekend will be closely monitored for symptoms and tested for COVID and therefore pose little to no risk to the local populations.”

The president is expected to travel this weekend to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. In past visits to the club, he has flown on Air Force One to airports in Newark and Morristown.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, on Wednesday announced that visitors from states with large numbers of coronavirus cases would be required to quarantine for two weeks, or face fines.

“This is the smart thing to do. We have taken our people ... through hell and back,” Murphy told reporters during a conference call Wednesday.

A spokesman for Murphy declined to comment on the White House’s statement about Trump’s visit.

“We worked very hard to get the viral transmission rate down. We don’t want to see it go up because a lot of people come into this region and they can literally bring the infection with them,” Cuomo said during the same call.

“Because what happens in New York happens in New Jersey and happens in Connecticut,” Cuomo said.

At least eight people who worked on the advance team for Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, have tested positive for Covid-19, two of whom were Secret Service agents. Two of the other people who tested positive did so after working at the rally, in contrast to the other six, whose test results came before the event occurred.