Story at a glance

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he has filed a lawsuit against the federal government demanding cruise ships be allowed to operate immediately.
  • Cruises in the U.S. have been sidelined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic following several outbreaks on multiple ships.
  • “We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” DeSantis said during a news conference Thursday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced Thursday he has filed a lawsuit against the federal government in an effort to get the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to allow cruises to resume from the U.S. immediately. 

Cruises in the U.S. have been sidelined since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic following several outbreaks on multiple ships. The cruise industry has been under a condition sail order issued by the CDC since the end of October that outlines a phased approach to resuming operations in U.S. waters, which includes testing and additional safeguards against the coronavirus. 


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According to The Tampa Bay Times, the head of the CDC’s maritime division Martin Cetron said if vaccine supply and distribution continues and deadly coronavirus variants are kept at bay, the agency could allow passengers on cruise ships by July. 

But that’s not soon enough for Florida officials, who argue the state is at risk of losing billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs. 

“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data,” DeSantis said during a news conference Thursday. 

“I think we have a great chance for success,” he added. 

The lawsuit against the Biden administration and the CDC calls the health agency’s actions “arbitrary and capricious” and asks the court to set aside the agency’s order and allow cruises to operate with reasonable safety protocols. 

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday said the CDC’s guidance is “based on data and health and medical guidelines.” 


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Published on Apr 09, 2021