President Donald Trump said that he does not anticipate needing a federal lockdown after California and New York implemented stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
When asked if there would be any consideration to a federal lockdown to keep people in their homes, the President said: “I don’t think so.”
Trump added that while those steps might be necessary in hotbeds such as California and New York, other parts of the country don’t face the same issues.
“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.
But Trump praised Govs. Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York for their action. Cuomo on Friday announced all workers in non-essential businesses across New York state are required to stay home in an effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I applaud them. They’re taking very strong, bold steps and I applaud them,” he said.
New York’s executive order takes effect Sunday evening, Cuomo said, and comes a day after California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered the state’s nearly 40 million residents to stay home. The two states have a combined population of nearly 59 million people, meaning the two orders affect nearly 1 in 5 Americans.
Cuomo acknowledged that his actions “will cause disruption. They will cause businesses to close. They’ll cause employees to stay at home. I understand that. They will cause much unhappiness. I understand that also.”
But, he said, “I accept full responsibility. If someone is unhappy, if somebody wants to blame someone, or complain about someone, blame me. There is no one else who is responsible for this decision.”
CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.
This story has been updated with additional reporting.