The White House said Wednesday that President Trump will not follow a New Jersey quarantine policy when he travels there this weekend because “he’s not a civilian” and anyone who comes near him is examined to make sure he doesn’t have COVID-19. The President traveled to Arizona this week, a current hot spot in the pandemic, and New Jersey requires that visitors to that state be required to be quarantined for 14 days.
“The President of the United States is not a civilian,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a press release. “Anyone very close to him, including staff, guests and the press, is tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative.”
Trump plans to spend the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. His journey will come only days after he traveled to Arizona this week to see construction on the border wall and attend a campaign event in a megachurch in Phoenix.
On Wednesday, the Governors of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut jointly announced that visitors from various states who have seen an increase in coronavirus cases will have to be quarantined for 14 days or face a fine. The order applies to visitors from Arizona, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.
Deere said the White House followed his “COVID mitigation plan” during Mr. Trump’s trip to Arizona “to make sure the president did not contact anyone who was symptomatic or had not been examined.”
“Anyone traveling in support of the President this weekend will be closely monitored for symptoms and COVID testing and therefore represents little or no risk to local populations,” he said, adding that the President and its staff “pose little or no risk to local populations.”
New Jersey was one of the hardest hit states in the US, with more than 173,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 13,000 deaths, but the number of new cases has steadily declined since its peak in April. Arizona, meanwhile, was one of seven states this week that saw its highest total in a single day for new cases, with the state health department reporting 3,591 cases on Tuesday, the day of Trump’s visit.
The New Jersey governor told CNN that he considers the president to be an essential worker and therefore exempt from the quarantine order.