Federal judge sides with Florida in lawsuit with CDC over cruise ship guidelines

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Earlier this month we heard that Royal Caribbean was set to launch six cruises this summer. Royal Caribbean stated that their cruises will abide by CDC guidelines and would require everyone 16 and over to be vaccinated. Even with vaccination requirements, people are still contracting coronavirus on cruises. It’s only going to get worse. Cue the Republican outrage. Governor DeSantis decided to sue the CDC over it in April and unfortunately a federal judge just sided with DeSantis. Judge Steve Merryday signed a temporary injunction that would prevent the CDC from enforcing their Conditional Sailing Order. The injunction begins July 18. Below are more details from People:

U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday granted a preliminary injunction, beginning July 18, preventing the CDC from enforcing the CSO, which will be considered nonbinding recommendations or guidelines, the Associated Press reported. He also ordered both sides to return to mediation to reach a full solution after a previous mediation attempt failed.

“This order finds that Florida is highly likely to prevail on the merits of the claim that CDC’s conditional sailing order and the implementing orders exceed the authority delegated to the CDC,” Merryday wrote in a 124-page decision, which argued that Florida would suffer if the CSO was allowed to continue, as it effectively blocks most cruises.

Merryday gave the CDC until July 2 to propose new cruise ship guidelines “both permitting cruise ships to sail timely and remaining within CDC’s authority.”

“Florida establishes a strong likelihood that many or almost all cruise ships will remain unable to sail for the entire summer season,” the ruling stated. “And each day the cruise industry faces uncertainty about when cruises can resume, Florida not only suffers a concrete economic injury resulting from reduced revenue and increased unemployment spending, but Florida faces an increasingly threatening and imminent prospect that the cruise industry will depart the state.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously sued the CDC in April, attempting to resume the cruise industry’s presence in the state, which is a big contributing factor to their economy.

“The CDC has been wrong all along, and they knew it,” DeSantis claimed in a statement after Friday’s ruling. “Today, we are securing this victory for Florida families, for the cruise industry, and for every state that wants to preserve its rights in the face of unprecedented federal overreach.”

[From People]

I am convinced that the Republican party is a death cult and their two objectives are to kill as many people as possible and make everyone poor. How could any rational human being want to block a cruise line from making sure their passengers and crew members are safe? What heartless a**hole wants a repeat of last year’s stuck at sea scenario where people were dying aboard cruise ships while they were marooned outside ports for weeks? The judge said that he feared that Florida and its workers would lose money because of the CSO restrictions which limit how many cruises can run at a time. What these people don’t get is that the cruise lines can pull out of Florida altogether like some have threatened already. Good luck to Florida if it loses this important industry.

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33 Responses to “Federal judge sides with Florida in lawsuit with CDC over cruise ship guidelines”

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  1. Denisemich says:

    I am an avid cruiser. Prior to Covid I disliked sailing out of Florida because of the quality of passengers on RCL and NCL. The passengers out of Florida seem more pushy and racist. They are from the middle and southern states. So I guess desantis knows who he is fighting for.

    These people don’t want to get vaccinated but will sue when they get COVID.

  2. pottymouth pup says:

    I’m waiting for Cruise Lines, realizing the impact of being forced to increase COVID risk to passengers & staff will hurt their industry (especially considering the impact of Norovirus outbreaks cruises had been having), to pull out of red states that will ban them from complying with CDC guidance or any requirements they want to implement as a precautionary measure. Surely there must be ports capable of accommodating cruise lines in other states and I’d be willing to bet some states with ocean access would be willing to improve the infrastructure to their ports to bring in all that increased business for hotels, restaurants, etc. they’d get from travelers coming in for the purpose of going on a cruise

    • BeanieBean says:

      That’s what I’m confused about. Florida sued the CDC, not the cruise lines. Can’t the cruise lines continue their policy of requiring, regardless of the CDC guidelines?

      • LaraW” says:

        They can, just like large chain stores decided to mandate masks in all their stores regardless of state law. However, cruise lines are in a unique position because of the particular safety concerns. If the CDC says people have to be vaccinated, cruise lines will follow that and they don’t have to make that decision. Because otherwise, the decisionmaking process for a business is very different than the government, where they have to calculate cost/benefit of vaccination versus not, legal liability, etc.

        Basically, having the CDC issue official guidelines relieves the cruise lines of having to assume a lot of the risk of mandating the passengers be vaccinated or not mandating them to be vaccinated.

  3. Lizzie says:

    Crooked judge. Rule on the law and not worry about Floridians jobs.

  4. Aang says:

    I’m so worried that all the unvaccinated idiots will help create a variant that the vaccines don’t protect against. And we will be back to square one.

  5. cassandra says:

    I’ve pretty much decided to not go on a cruise again for a long time. I have no interest in getting quarantined on a tiny boat in my tiny room for weeks if the disease starts to spread on board. No thank you.

  6. TQ says:

    Terrible decision. But not totally surprising. Perfect example of why presidential elections matter so much for the courts, because this fool of a judge has lifetime tenure to keep making horrible, life endangering decisions. SMDH.

    • M says:

      Exactly the point I was going to make!!!!! Decisions like this one will be made by the racist fundamentalist right wing nut jobs that the last administration flooded the judiciary with. We are screwed

  7. SKE says:

    I’ve sailed from Florida and New Orleans- NOLA was far superior. Hope all the cruises leave Florida and go there instead!

  8. Pinellas Pixie says:

    So I guess business owners only get to decide which customers they serve when those customers are gay couples looking for a wedding cake. Otherwise, the courts rule the customers must be served on the customers’ terms. Not surprising to me at all.

  9. Tx_mom says:

    Sad to tell you all that Texas will be right behind Florida on this — our crap governor has already signed a bill into law making “vaccine passports” illegal. I imagine he’s feverishly hunting for a court case right now to get more publicity. Bye, Galveston cruises. The right-wingers I know point to “vaccine passports” as coercive, so this silly thing has political legs. It’s not going to go away.

    • sassafras says:

      I don’t understand why the corporations aren’t starting to flex over vaccine passports. If corporations – and especially cruise lines – want them, they can lobby and give money and throw around a hell of a lot more political power than Abbott and DeSantis who are obviously both running for President in 2024. Both of those guys are just trying to score as many cheap political points as they can, while they can, never mind their constituents dying and getting sick.

      • LaraW” says:

        I think it’s because corporations are trying to figure out a coherent policy for themselves and are waiting for guidance from the government. This is an unprecedented situation, there’s uncertainty about what kind of laws, executive orders, administrative policy changes will be enacted and corporations are looking to the government to tell them what they can and cannot do. Which is, I think, the right way to go. Relying on corporations to take the lead in public health is essentially what we had under Trump and it was a disaster.

  10. Izzy says:

    I’ve been on exactly one cruise. A couple of years ago I went on the Celebrity Edge’s fourth sailing ever. The biggest selling point for me was the fact that it was a new ship and probably less contaminated than the usual bug boats. Glad I went then because I definitely don’t see it happening again.

  11. JanetDR says:

    I’ve been on just one cruise too @Izzy. Because all the traveling seemed so chaotic, I made it a trip from NYC to the Bahamas. It’s just a 6 hour drive. It is surprisingly reasonable to park on the pier! It was something I had wanted to try for years. We enjoyed ourselves and made friends (the one good thing about Facebook is that it’s easy to stay in touch) but I think that’s it unless we do an Alaska one someday.

  12. Ann says:

    This puts their constituents at risk. I know they don’t care about that but people are still dying from COVID. And the new varieties are all much more dangerous and contagious. I don’t expect for these evil scumbags to appreciate the loss of life, but to fail to see it as a loss of voters is crazy. Who is going to be voting for him in 2024 if a huge percentage of “the base” is dead?

  13. Faye G says:

    Sigh, I had a cruise from Florida scheduled this November but it looks like we’ll cancel it. Cruises are great for our family with people of mixed abilities, but I’m not risking Covid, period. On the bright side, comic con is held that same week so that’s a good consolation for me

  14. Willow says:

    Someone I know was scheduled to go on a cruise in August. It was just canceled because the cruise line can’t find enough employees. After they got trapped for months the last time, I guess they all decided to jump ship!

  15. Cee says:

    I just returned home from Orlando and the amount of people NOT masking and social distancing is atrocious and really disturbing. No one asks to see your vaccine card so we’re just supposed to trust Karen and Kevin when they scream about not wearing a mask.

    People need to keep using a face mask, vaccinated or not! You can spread it, you can still get ill from COVID!

  16. EviesMom says:

    Ew. So cruises are going to turn into anti vaxxers holiday of choice…. I wonder what the dining area will look like?
    “Did you want to sit in the Measles Mezzanine or the Covid Quarter?”
    No one sane will go on cruises… they will be floating NRC conventions until they fade out due to giving each other Covid & god knows what else.

  17. JRenee says:

    Pre covid, I was a cruiser. I had planned to cruise last year prior to covid. I can’t imagine going in today’s climate. This is reckless grandstanding. I can’t understand how he’s planning on a future career in politics.