Yesterday, Robert Redfield, the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, met with the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence, at the White House to discuss the future of the cruise industry. According to Axios, Pence blocked the CDC from extending the cruise ban that has been in effect since March until February 2021, though he agreed to allow an extension until October 31.
Public health officials have complained that the overruling is another example of politically motivated decision-making, since the industry is a huge part of Florida’s economy — a key battleground state. While it may give Florida an economic boost, the resumption of cruising could lead to serious outbreaks, as seen when the pandemic began earlier this year.
Instead of Redfield’s recommendation, the no-sail order has been extended to October 31. The Trump administration hopes that the cruise industry will be able to come up with a plan by then to ensure cruising can take place in a safe and responsible manner. On Friday, representatives from the cruise industry will meet with Trump administration officials to discuss potential paths forward, including the ultimate length of the ban.