The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) wanted to extend its “no sail” order for cruise ships until next February, but a surprise White Horse move overruled the extension. The CDC issued the original no sail order back in April for all cruise ships when it became apparent they were a breeding ground for COVID-19.
But, according to MIC, it looks like cruise ships will be setting sail as of Oct. 31. The coronavirus task force, along with the president and vice-president, nixed the proposed extension that was presented on Tuesday by Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC’s director.
Redfield has warned that allowing cruise ships to sail without precautions in place could be a public health disaster. The cruise industry has retaliated by forming its own Healthy Sail panel to make sure everyone is tested before they get on board.
“The only thing you want to make sure of is that the virus doesn’t get on there in the first place,” said Dr. Stephen Ostroff, former acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration who also served as deputy director of the National Center for Infectious Diseases. Ostroff is a member of the Healthy Sail group, according to The New York Times.
Some say political reasons prompted the White House to veto the extension because President Trump wants the support of Floridians.
According to the Times, Bruce Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, denied that allowing cruise ships to sail was politically motivated.
“The president, the vice president and the task force follow the science and data to implement policies and protect public health and also facilitate the safe reopening of our country,” he said.
The CDC said between March 1 and July 10, there have been almost 3,000 COVID-19 related cases and 34 deaths aboard vessels in its jurisdiction, according to the Times.
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