The White House just blocked a CDC rule designed to prevent a pandemic "public health catastrophe” on cruise ships by keeping them docked until mid-February, a move clearly designed to appease Trump’s Republican cronies in Florida.
From The New York Times:
The current “no sail” policy, which was originally put in place in April and later extended, is set to expire on Wednesday. Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., had recommended the extension, worried that cruise ships could become viral hot spots, as they did at the beginning of the pandemic.
But at a meeting of the coronavirus task force on Tuesday, Dr. Redfield’s plan was overruled, according to a senior federal health official who was not authorized to comment and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The administration will instead allow the ships to sail after Oct. 31, the date the industry had already agreed to in its own, voluntary plan. The rejection of the C.D.C.’s plan was first reported by Axios.
Dr. Redfield, squeezed between the White House’s desire to reopen the economy and scientists’ concerns about further spread of the virus, warned that allowing cruise ships to sail without proper precautions could lead to a public health disaster.
A quote from spokesman Brian Morgenstern claims this has nothing to do with politics and that the White House will “follow the science and data” to implement safe policies to “facilitate the safe reopening of our country.”
Sorry, Brian, but I’m sure I’m far from the only one who would take the CDC’s advice over the mask-optional Trump gang. Especially since, as the Times notes, “The cruise ship industry has considerable political influence in Florida, a state Mr. Trump is fighting hard to win in the election.”
Remember the Diamond Princess?
On Jan. 20, one infected passenger boarded the cruise ship; a month later, more than 700 of the 3,711 passengers and crew members had tested positive, with many falling seriously ill.
This is what Trump is willing to have happen again because he thinks it will help him in the election.