Gov. Ron DeSantis: 'Latest CDC Guidance Is a Joke'
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) blasted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) latest guidance for reopening the cruise industry, a major economic driver in the Sunshine State, calling it a “joke” as the agency is only permitting ships to forgo test sailings if nearly all of the crew members and passengers are vaccinated.
“The latest guidance from @CDCgov is a joke but what else did we expect from the Biden Administration?” DeSantis asked. “Vaccine passports infringe on our liberty and don’t keep people safe. Our cruise industry is a major economic driver. Let our ships sail!”:
The latest guidance from @CDCgov is a joke but what else did we expect from the Biden Administration? Vaccine passports infringe on our liberty and don't keep people safe. Our cruise industry is a major economic driver. Let our ships sail!https://t.co/TMrkA09QvN
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 4, 2021
In April, the CDC issued the next phase of the conditional sail order for cruise ship operators, which contains a flurry of red tape, requiring the establishment of a plan and timeline for the vaccination of crew and port workers as well as simulated trial voyages to put the health requirements into practice before sailing with passengers.
The agency later clarified that cruise ships could begin to sail with passengers, without doing the simulated voyages, as early as June, but on the condition that 98 percent of the crew and 95 percent of the passengers are vaccinated for the Chinese coronavirus.
The CDC told cruise industry officials:
We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities.
“This puts cruise ships closer to open water sailing sooner,” the agency added.
Last month, DeSantis announced Florida’s lawsuit against the CDC and the federal government over their restrictions on the cruise industry — a major economic driver in the Sunshine State, which has some of the busiest ports in the world: Port Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port Everglades.
“We believe that it is time for us to vindicate the state’s rights and the rights of the state in court and also vindicate the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Floridians who depend on this industry,” DeSantis in the April announcement, promising to “keep at this until we finally get it open.”
On Monday, DeSantis signed legislation banning the use of vaccine passports in Florida.