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WH on Trump Flouting NJ Quarantine: He's 'Not a Civilian'

President visiting NJ golf course this weekend, would normally have to quarantine for 14 days
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2020 7:37 AM CDT

(Newser) – New York, Connecticut, and New Jersey announced earlier this week that visitors from coronavirus "hot spot" states will need to self-quarantine for 14 days before going about their business, or they'll face a fine. One visitor to the latter state this weekend, however, has no plans on following that protocol. Per CBS News, President Trump will be heading to his golf club in Bedminster, and the White House says there's no reason for him to hole up alone in his living quarters. "The president of the United States is not a civilian," says staffer Judd Deere in a statement. "Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests, and press, are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative." The tristate quarantine order applies to visitors from eight states, including Arizona, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Texas.

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The president attended a rally Tuesday in Arizona, which is why the quarantine order would normally apply to him. CNBC and People note that Trump, while he is the commander in chief of the US military, has not himself ever been a member of the military or law enforcement, and so therefore is technically a civilian. However, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy hints that Trump doesn't have to worry about facing repercussions if he violates the quarantine. "There is a carve-out for essential workers, and I think by any definition the president of the United States is an essential worker, and I know the folks get tested around him all the time," Murphy tells CNN. "The bigger point here is we want folks to really be responsible in terms of thinking about not just themselves, but their families and their communities." (Read more President Trump stories.)

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