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Florida sues CDC, seeking to relaunch cruise industry

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Gov. Ron DeSantis says Florida is "fighting back" to lift shutdown of cruise industry during COVID-19 pandemic. Image: Florida Channel

Florida is suing the Biden administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to let cruise ships sail again after being shut down for more than a year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor and Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the lawsuit Thursday at a press conference in Miami.

The CDC recently released new guidance on how the cruise industry can get back to sailing safely but set no timeframe for that.

Gov. Ron DeSantis says they don’t believe the agency has the right to “mothball” the industry for more than a year.

He says people who want to take a cruise will just go to The Bahamas at Florida’s expense.

“I’m happy to announce that on behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihood depends on the viability of an open cruise industry, today Florida is fighting back,” he said.

Cruise ship outbreaks were early pandemic horror stories. And to assure safety, at least one cruise industry leader has floated the idea of requiring proof of vaccination for everyone on board.

DeSantis has ruled that out in Florida.

If you give an inch, some people will take a mile, he said. “Remember last year — a little over last year, yeah, I mean it was in March of last year — 15 days to slow the spread. Fifteen days or two weeks to stop the cruise and then you guys would be back. Remember that’s what they promised us?”


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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.