An advisory is perfectly reasonable. States that don’t have many coronavirus cases should be wary of visitors from places like New York City, just as New Yorkers should think rationally about whether they should travel and how to limit their interactions. But why did that require an afternoon of confusion?
The most charitable view is that this is the president’s take on transparency. That he likes to throw ideas out there to see what the reaction might be, to workshop them. To get feedback from the brightest minds. And A-Rod. It’s happened many, many times during his term. Remember Greenland?
But the coronavirus pandemic requires a different approach. You can’t just throw out, “Hey, Easter would be nice” without asking if the task force he’s assembled agrees. You can’t — or at least shouldn’t — send the tri-state area into a tizzy while you mull about quarantining entire sections of the nation. By all means, ask the CDC and Vice President Mike Pence’s group if they think a state lockdown would be helpful. Don’t tweet it.