Power Line

Why are the airlines still flying out of New York?

Charlie Cooke poses the question. It’s a good one.

Cooke writes:

At the moment, the greater New York area is at the center of the coronavirus crisis in the United States, and yet Kayak confirms that, even today, anyone from the city and its environs can get on a plane and travel almost anywhere within the United States. . . .

Given the seriousness of the pandemic — and the number of businesses that have been shuttered as a precaution — this seems downright bizarre.

When China was at the center of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, President Trump wisely banned entry into the U.S. from China. To be sure, banning travel within the U.S. is considerably more draconian than banning travel to the U.S. from a foreign country. Any sort of domestic ban should be imposed only in exigent circumstances.

I believe the current circumstances in New York City are exigent. Thus, it would make sense to ban air travel from New York, the current center of the pandemic, to the rest of the U.S.

As Cooke points out, Trump considered a federal quarantine of the New York City area last week, but decided against it. Such a quarantine would have been difficult to enforce.

No such difficulty would attach to banning air travel out of the city, and such a ban, at least as it applied to travel outside of New York State, is within the federal government’s power to impose. So why hasn’t this happened?

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