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CDC asks residents of N.Y., N.J. and Connecticut to refrain from ‘non-essential travel’ for 14 days

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WASHINGTON —President Donald Trump backed away from earlier comments Saturday that he was considering enforcing a quarantine in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area after state officials questioned whether Trump had the authority to implement a quarantine and accused him of creating confusion.

Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory asking residents to refrain from non-essential travel for 14 days, effective immediately. The advisory does not apply to people who work for “critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply, the CDC said in a statement.

“A quarantine will not be necessary,” Trump tweeted Saturday night. “Full details will be released by CDC tonight.”

Earlier Saturday Trump sparked confusion when he told reporters as he was leaving the White House for Norfolk, Va., that he was considering an “enforceable quarantine” in the tri-state area because he was concerned New Yorkers were traveling to places like Florida and spreading the virus.

Trump had been on the phone just minutes before with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, but did not bring up the possibility of the federally mandated quarantine, according to Cuomo.

“I didn’t speak to him about any quarantine,” Cuomo said during a press conference. “I don’t even know what that means.” “I don’t know how that could be legally enforceable. I don’t even like the sound of it.”

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Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said in a statement that he had been in “close communication” with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Cuomo.

“I look forward to speaking to the President directly about his comments and any further enforcement actions, because confusion leads to panic,” Lamont.

When asked by reporters at the White House to clarify Trump’s proposal, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who was recently named chief of staff, said “we’re evaluating all the options right now.”

Governors and mayors, not the federal government, have the broadest quarantine and isolation authority, as the constitution leaves that kind of police power in the hands of the states.

Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the authority to detain people suspected of having an infectious disease without getting approval from state and local officials, that authority is rarely used and experts on public health law say that any attempt to leverage that power to create a federally mandated quarantine would likely be challenged in court.

While at the USNS Comfort, Trump said that any restrictions would not impact truck drivers entering or traveling through quarantined areas and that it would not impact trade.

Trump suggested that the purpose of the federally mandated quarantine would be to limit people from the New York area spreading the virus to other parts of the country, but some states have already put into place restrictions on out of state visitors from places that are considered hotspots.

In New York alone, Cuomo said there are more than 52,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with over 725 deaths.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is requiring people visiting from parts of Louisiana, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to self-isolate for 14 days. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo also ordered that anyone who has moved from New York state to Rhode Island in the past two weeks must self-quarantine for 14 days. Massachusetts and Texas have instituted similar restrictions and some counties in North Carolina are considering putting up roadblocks to keep out visitors, unless they prove they have a home or job inside the county.

“Restrict travel because they are having problems down in Florida. A lot of New Yorkers going down, we don’t want that,” Trump told reporters on Saturday.

“I’d rather not do it, but we may need it,” Trump said.



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Britons furious as Barnier offers Remainers two-year Brexit delay – ‘Get us out!’

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BRITONS have reacted with fury after Michel Barnier suggested a two-year Brexit delay in a letter to opposition leaders.

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Senators sound alarm over coronavirus in juvenile detention facilities

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A group of senators is pressing the Department of Justice to explain what it’s doing to protect youth in juvenile detention facilities from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

In a letter sent Tuesday, the senators raised concerns that parents of incarcerated youth in several states are not receiving information about their child’s health, or being told about the spread of the coronavirus in these facilities. The senators requested that the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, part of the Justice Department, publicly disclose the measures it has taken to ensure the health and safety of youth in detention during the coronavirus pandemic.

“COVID-19 thrives in juvenile detention facilities, where communal living arrangements make it difficult or impossible to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended public health measures such as maintaining social distance, self-isolating, and using personal protective equipment,” the senators state, later adding: “Because the majority of youth in detention are black or Hispanic, the spread of COVID-19 within juvenile detention may further perpetuate the disparate impact of the virus along racial and ethnic lines.”

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The letter, organized by Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., asks for a response by June 12 to a list of detailed questions. The group includes 11 other Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.

Physicians, epidemiologists, defense attorneys, advocates for youth and parents nationwide have issued multiple calls for the release of children held in juvenile detention facilities in recent months.

While children are generally less likely to have severe reactions to the coronavirus, the disease poses a higher risk for people with underlying health issues, and youth in detention are more likely to have those conditions. Additionally, experts warn, children can spread the virus to the adult staff who then might take it home.

As of May 26, there are at least 488 youth and 580 staff in juvenile detention facilities who have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Sentencing Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. However, this is an incomplete accounting and is highly dependent on what state and local officials decide to release.

Juvenile detention facilities are controlled at the local level — either by city, county or state governments — and releases can be subject to approval by a judge.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is set up to help local governments improve their juvenile justice systems and provides grants to states. The group of senators wants the office to disclose how many COVID-19 cases there are among the youth and staff of these grantees.

The office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Brexiteers fear 'Frost is next!' Conspiracy claims over Cummings sack demands

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DEMANDS for Dominic Cummings to be sacked have sparked concern of a Remainer plot among Brexiteers – with some even worried the UK’s Brexit negotiator David Frost could be targeted next.

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