At a roundtable discussion at Port Canaveral today, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody and Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. called on the CDC to let cruise lines sail from American ports once again. Earlier this week, the CDC reaffirmed that their order would remain in place until November 1st despite millions of American’s receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. When the order was last revised in October, a COVID-19 vaccine was not yet available to the public.
“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 Governor 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.”
RELATED: CLIA Tells CDC It’s Time to Cruise
“It’s anchors aweigh for almost every travel industry in the U.S., yet 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 The rationale for keeping U.S. cruises shuttered through the foreseeable future is based on outdated data and guidelines put in place before we had a COVID-19 vaccine,” said Attorney General Ashley Moody. “The federal government is acting outside its authority in singling out and docking the cruise industry while other tourism-based businesses continue to operate in accordance with health guidelines. 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 That is why, we are calling on the Biden administration to lift the outdated lockdown order on Florida’s cruise industry and allow workers who rely on this important industry to get back to work.”
A September 2020 report from the Federal Maritime Commission estimated that during the first 6 months of the pandemic, losses in Florida due to the cruise industry shutdown totaled $3.2 billion in economic activity, including 49,500 jobs paying $2.3 billion in wages. The CDC’s decision to shut down cruising while planes, trains, and other forms of public transportation are operating has been a constant point of criticism for the department.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 26, 2021