Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has threatened to sue the federal government if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not permit cruises to resume operations by summer.
At a Friday news conference with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody and leaders of Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Norwegian cruise lines, DeSantis made a case for lifting the cruise ban.
“They did the No-Sail Order in March of 2020,” DeSantis said. “And it’s never been really to the point where they’re making an effort to really get it back.”
The CDC has indicated that the No-Sail Order will remain in place until November 1, 2021.
It has been over a year since all cruise lines were forced to close due to the pandemic outbreak. This move has cost Florida $3.2 billion in the first six months of the pandemic, as well as 49,500 jobs and $2.3 billion in wages. In addition, Florida’s tourism industry was impacted – from airports and ground transportation to hotels, restaurants and tourist destinations.
Florida is the nation’s cruise capital and is home to three of world’s busiest ports.
At Friday’s new conference, DeSantis said the ban is affecting all Florida businesses.
“This has a kind of ripple effect throughout all businesses,” he said. “When they’re sailing, there is more economic opportunity for people across a wide range of businesses. It affects a lot of jobs. What we need is a way forward.”
“Is it OK for the government to idle an industry for a year with no end in sight?”
DeSantis and cruise industry executives argued that with widespread testing and vaccines becoming more available, the danger is now no worse than air and train travel. They added that many other major countries have begun to operate cruises safely under health guidelines.
“The federal government has provided guidance to all other passenger transportation modes and other industries; however, it has failed to issue guidance for the cruise industry to assist in its recovery,” DeSantis said in a press release.
“Let’s get people back to the work. The health situation has changed,” said Thomas Mazloum, president of Disney Cruise Line. “Cruise lines are cruising very successfully outside the United States, proving that with the right protocols cruising is a very safe and beautiful experience.”
“The Biden administration is keeping our cruise liners docked—while many other major countries begin to operate cruises safely under health guidelines. The rationale for keeping U.S. cruises shuttered through the foreseeable future is based on outdated data and guidelines put in place before we had a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “This heavy-handed federal overreach is harming our nation’s economy and is especially damaging to Florida’s economy and our vital tourism industry. That is why, we are calling on the Biden administration to lift the outdated lockdown order on Florida’s cruise industry and allow workers who rely on this important industry to get back to work.”
DeSantis also recommended that the cruise industry receive over $250 million to account for the losses accrued due to the no-sail order.
“If there is one thing we’ve learned over the past year, it’s that lockdowns don’t work, and Floridians deserve the right to earn a living,” said DeSantis.
“The cruise industry is essential to our state’s economy and keeping it shut down until November would be devastating to the men and women who rely on the cruise lines to provide for themselves and their families. I urge the CDC to immediately rescind this baseless no-sail order to allow Floridians in this industry to get back to work.”
Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy
You may like
Biden spends $1.65 trillion taxpayer dollars while vacationing in St. Croix
While vacationing in the island of St. Croix for the holidays, President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law the massive $1.65 omnibus spending package.
The whopping 4,155 pages was supported by only nine House Republicans and 13 Senate Republicans. Majority of criticism from the GOP includes concerns that the bill was rushed and crammed with wasteful spending by a lame-duck Democratic-dominated Congress. The recourse will punish American families by adding to the national debt and exacerbate inflation.
“Today, I signed the bipartisan omnibus bill, ending a year of historic progress. It’ll invest in medical research, safety, veteran health care, disaster recovery, VAWA funding — and gets crucial assistance to Ukraine,” Biden tweeted. “Looking forward to more in 2023.”
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell “praised the bill on the grounds that it represents a real decrease in discretionary spending. He presented it as a positive that nondefense spending jumped by only 5.5 percent, from $730 billion to $772.5 billion, amid an inflation rate of 7.1 percent” writes National Review.
“The bipartisan government-funding bill that Senators Shelby and Leahy have finished negotiating does exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration first proposed,” he said. “This bill provides a substantial real-dollar increase to the defense baseline . . . and a substantial real-dollar cut to the non-defense, non-veterans baseline,” McConnell insisted as negotiations were wrapping up.
House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, however, stated his strong disapproval of the bill before it even advanced. Affirming a letter from 13 House Republicans, McCarthy demanded the bill is reckless, irresponsible, and a “purposeful refusal to secure and defend our borders.”
For example, it failed to incorporate protections for Title 42, the pandemic policy that allows illegal immigrants to be expelled on a public-health basis, which currently hangs in the balance at the Supreme Court.
National Review adds, “The funding in the bill, which averted a federal government shutdown before the new year, includes an allocation of $45 billion in defense assistance to Ukraine. Some Republican priorities, such as Electoral Count Act reform and a bigger military budget, were nested in with Democratic appropriations, such as increased funding for Medicaid and food stamps.”
You may like
Featured5 days ago
REPORT: Exorcists called to drive out demons from Nancy Pelosi’s home
Immigration3 days ago
NYC Mayor turning cruise ship terminal into migrant shelter, ‘our city is at its breaking point’
Environment5 days ago
Major border town on ‘brink of collapse’ as migrants ruin agriculture, overrun hospitals and resources
Elections4 days ago
Former FBI official investigating Trump indicted on charges of working for Russian Oligarch he was investigating