Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis threatened to launch a lawsuit against the federal government Friday, unless the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lift the no-sail coronavirus order by this summer.
March 14 marked one year since all cruise lines were forced to dock following the outbreak of the coronavirus, a move that has reportedly cost Florida $3.2 billion in the first six months of the pandemic, along with 49,500 jobs and $2.3 billion in wages.
The CDC has ordered all cruise lines to remain docked through November 2021, but De Santis pushed back on this mandate, calling it “baseless.”
“The cruise industry is essential to our state’s economy and keeping it shut down until November would be devastating to the men and women who rely on the cruise lines to provide for themselves and their families,” the governor said during a Friday roundtable. “I urge the CDC to immediately rescind this baseless no-sail order to allow Floridians in this industry to get back to work.”
Other Florida officials took issue with the fact that not tourism industries have been curtailed by a federal directive in the same way.
The state’s Attorney General Ashley Moody, condemned the CDC order that heavily affects the Sunshine State, calling it “federal overreach.”
“The federal government is acting outside its authority in singling out and docking the cruise industry while other tourism-based businesses continue to operate in accordance with health guidelines,” she said.
The Florida roundtable came just days after the CDC announced they would not lift the no-sail order, despite a request from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Wednesday.
The CLIA has since taken to twitter to urge Americans to appeal to their congressmen to help lift the no-sail order, given the increasing number of vaccines administered nationwide.
“Cruising has resumed with effective health protocols in more than 10 markets across the world. We can do it in the U.S. too,” the group said on Twitter. “Tell Congress to urge the CDC to allow for the responsible resumption of cruising in the United States.”
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said during a White House press briefing Friday, that the U.S. is vaccinating 2.5 million people a day. With over 140 million doses administered so far, the U.S. is on track to have every American vaccinated by mid-June, so long as vaccines supply chains remain consistent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.