Democrat Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on Friday described Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R-FL) decision to take legal action against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and federal government — for leaving the cruise industry in a perpetual state of limbo — as a “craven political stunt.”
The Connecticut senator believes the Florida governor is actively “pandering to cruise companies,” which have been heavily impacted by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, unable to sail out of the Sunshine State — home to some of the busiest ports across the globe.
“Gov. DeSantis suing the CDC is a craven political stunt pandering to cruise companies,” Blumenthal said, accusing the Florida governor of seeming to care “more about their profits than passengers at risk of COVID-19.”
“No way should the CDC send cruise ships to sea now,” he added:
Gov. DeSantis suing the CDC is a craven political stunt pandering to cruise companies. He seems to care more about their profits than passengers at risk of COVID-19. No way should the CDC send cruise ships to sea now. https://t.co/qHiIAjSzGh
— Richard Blumenthal (@SenBlumenthal) April 9, 2021
DeSantis announced legal action against the CDC and federal government during a press conference at Port Miami on Thursday, attributing the decision to the government effectively locking down the entire industry for over a year with no clear end in sight for the industry, which the Miami Herald reports is “responsible for nearly $9 billion in annual economic impact to Florida.”
“This is not reasonable. This is not rational,” DeSantis said, explaining it is time to “vindicate the state’s rights and the rights of the state in court and also vindicate the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Floridians who depend on this industry.”
DeSantis, who has led the way in prioritizing freedom throughout the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, also addressed critics, explaining the industry “doesn’t need a bureaucratic overseer to ensure the safety of its customers.”
“If you are worried about Americans, well, they just will cruise off another coast,” he explained. “Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay in our hotels, spending money to eat in our restaurants before they get on the ship, they’re going to fly to the Bahamas.”
Florida is home to three of the busiest ports in the world — Port Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port Everglades.
The no-sail order has been in effect since March 2020, and it is slated to remain in effect until November 1.