(Reuters) – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday slammed the federal government’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic and said he was considering a quarantine for travelers from Florida due to fears they could spread the virus.
Florida is among a number of states, like Oklahoma and Arizona, that have seen a surge in new cases.
Cuomo called the federal government’s guidance an “undeniable mistake” and said the White House had operated since day one on “pure political ideology.”
“It is a political theory, a public relations theory versus a science-based, fact-based theory,” Cuomo said.
Cuomo voiced concern about cases rising in a number of states, including Texas and Arizona, and faulted the government for pressuring states to reopen quickly in an attempt to revive the battered nationwide economy.
He said experts had advised him to consider imposing a quarantine for people traveling from Florida as he feared they could lead to a resurgence of the virus in New York.
Cuomo said New York continued to make progress in curbing the virus’ spread as hospitalizations continued to decline, with fewer than 1% of more than 68,000 people tested on Wednesday coming back positive.
“That is just great news and that’s why I’m in such a happy-go-lucky mood,” he said.
(Reporting by Maria Caspani in New York and Nathan Layne in Wilton, Conn., Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Dan Grebler)