Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced Thursday that he is suing the federal government over the COVID-19 cruise ship ban.
“We have tens of thousands of Floridians … across the state who depend on the viability of the cruise industry for their livelihoods, their jobs and their ability to feed their families,” DeSantis said during ‘a press conference in Port Miami. “This is something that is imposed, this stop, by the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the federal government. “
DeSantis added that while the unemployment rate in Florida is lower than the national average, it is much higher in Miami-Dade County due to the cruise stop.
“So today I am happy to report that on behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihoods depend on the viability of an open cruise industry, Florida is fighting back,” he said. declared. “We are filing a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that our cruise ship be reopened immediately.”
He continued, “It will be something that we believe we have the legal right to insist on. We don’t think the federal government has the right to shut down a big industry for more than a year on the basis of very little evidence and very little data. “
DeSantis’ announcement comes shortly after the CDC released an update that will eventually allow cruise ships to resume shipping in the United States, but did not provide a specific date for their clearance.
In March 2020, the CDC first announced its “No Navigation Order,” which prohibited cruise ships from leaving or entering US ports. This order was extended in October.
On April 2, the CDC released the next phase of its “Conditional Sail Order,” which “will include simulated (test) trips that will allow crew and port personnel to practice the new COVID-operational procedures. 19 with volunteers before sailing with passengers ”.
The conditional order also increases the frequency of reporting of COVID-19 cases from week to week, as well as “updating the color coding system used to classify the status of ships in relation to COVID-19 . “
While the conditional order provides new guidelines for cruise ships in the United States, it does not specify when these ships can become fully operational as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising when it is safe to do so, following the phased approach outlined in the Conditional Sailing Order (CSO)” the CDC said in the updated guidelines.
While DeSantis announced a lawsuit Thursday, this is not the first time he has criticized the CDC’s veil ban order.
“We have one of our main industries that has been idle by the federal government for over a year, the cruise industry,” DeSantis said at a press conference on March 26. “We have to get these cruise lines back up and running.”
“In Florida, everything is happening except the cruise lines because the federal government does not let the cruise lines navigate,” added the governor of Florida.
Newsweek contacted DeSantis and the CDC for comment, but did not receive a response in time for the release.