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Congressional Investigation into CDC No-Sail Order


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12 hours ago, cured said:

Yup, but nothing like the US.  

 

I really hope the rumored short cruises to Mexico happen and happen safely.  I really do want to cruise. But I want to do it on the recommendation of science, not politics, not business economics.

My Province was around 100 new daily cases for most of the summer,  we are now hovering close to 1000. There are talks that we are heading back to Phase 2......some big announcement is coming today....ugh. 

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14 hours ago, Kokomo91165 said:


CDC has been tripping over themselves since this virus started. Wear a mask. Don’t wear a mask. Airborne. Not airborne. Open school. Close schools. Doesn’t survive on surfaces. Survives on surfaces.

 


This is precisely why public education is sorely needed in regard to a novel virus and basic science. 

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On 10/15/2020 at 7:35 AM, molly361 said:

I was just coming to say that there is no way any Congressional Probe can be done by the end of the month when the no sail order is set to expire right??

Agree.   A Congressional probe would probably not start until post election or even until after the new Congress is seated.  And as these things tend to drag on for ever it could be well into 2022 before any legislative action is proposed.  So what will most likely happen is that Congress in its "wisdom"🙄 will go tsk, tsk to the WH and be done.  But that won't happen until late spring/summer 2021.

Edited by crewsweeper
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On 10/15/2020 at 9:40 AM, bouhunter said:

I have no idea what bankruptcy proceedings would apply.  According to wikipedia they are "based" in the US but incorporated in Liberia....

 

But as you said, in the US anyway there is a big difference between Chapter's 7 & 11.

 

 

NCL is a collection of legal entities (companies) all around the world. Some are just to "own a ship" in the country of registration. But the US Company is where most of their cash income occurs and if that entity runs out of cash then the US company goes into Chapter 11 or 7.  Lack of cash being sent to the other entities could cause outflow events for the entities in other countries.

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1 hour ago, Jeremiah1212 said:


This is precisely why public education is sorely needed in regard to a novel virus and basic science. 

 

There are two things going on here.

First, as a novel (new) virus things are going to change... week by week, month by month.  Science has to do its work to perform studies, collect data, analyze, review, publish.  It's no surprise that it took some time to figure out it is airborne and that trasfer by surface is less common.  We start with what we know, learn and update.

 

The other is the muzzling of the CDC.  The White House has been suppressing and overriding and delaying the CDC's publishing. They even took over reporting of hospital data. Why would that happen when the CDC is the most respected organization in the world on these matters? To control the message and only offer information that fits "the narrative."  It is shameful.  Let the CDC do their job. 

 

Who do I trust to decide if cruise ships are safe:  A white house task force with a doctor who has no infectious disease experience, or the CDC?  Easy answer.  Even if ships start to sail this year, I am glad I heard the CDC would have chosen February.  That's the earliest I would decide to cruise now.

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Nothing magic happens in February. Operating procedures need to be changed and new protocols put in place. The CDC has been impeding that process by blanket no-sail orders and, at least from what we outside can see, absolutely no helpful feedback to the cruise lines themselves. They've more or less been left completely alone to figure out what to do without any real knowledge that they aren't just spinning their wheels and nothing they do might change the CDC no-sail order.

 

Without leadership, the cruise lines at the minimum need an opportunity to implement these "healthy sail panel" ideas and see them work in practice.

 

As an investigative entity, the CDC has scientists with knowledge. Should they be regulatory? Maybe. But really they aren't. If they were, where's the equivalent of a no-sail order for innumerable other activities? Large public gatherings like sporting events. Air travel. TSA lines. Airports. The CDC really did nothing there at all. In fact, almost nobody did. It was left up to the airlines to each decide what to do, in the air, in their terminals, in waiting areas. The TSA in some ways decided what to do in each location they handled, too. Nobody tried to coordinate that from any leadership position. There was absolutely nothing consistent about how everything eventually was dealt with.

So there's two issues that come up in these arguments about cruising...

 

1) Why is cruising singled out as an industry that's been shut down completely with no opportunities to address the issues facing their crew and passengers, LIKE ALMOST EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY.

2) How can an industry survive if prevented from operating and given no information about how, or when they could restart anything? On the one hand the US has shut them down completely. On the other hand the US says they're ineligible for any help, financial or otherwise, from the government. So which are they, subject to arbitrary perhaps capricious regulation that no other industry is subject to, or part of a widely-connected section of our economy and a necessary component of an industry that should be eligible for the same sorts of help other industries are getting?

Political interference aside, I trust the CDC on basic science. I trust even their operation of vessel sanitation inspections and regulations. But I don't believe the across-the-board shutdown that is continuing even in the face of industry attempts to address issue by issue everything possible is appropriate anymore. And I would be a lot less critical of that if there was even the slightest sign of attempting to help the industry get moving again, such as things like suspending laws preventing operation of cruises to nowhere from US ports but non-US flagged ships/crew.

 

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3 hours ago, dswallow said:

Nothing magic happens in February. Operating procedures need to be changed and new protocols put in place. The CDC has been impeding that process by blanket no-sail orders and, at least from what we outside can see, absolutely no helpful feedback to the cruise lines themselves. They've more or less been left completely alone to figure out what to do without any real knowledge that they aren't just spinning their wheels and nothing they do might change the CDC no-sail order.

 

Without leadership, the cruise lines at the minimum need an opportunity to implement these "healthy sail panel" ideas and see them work in practice.

 

As an investigative entity, the CDC has scientists with knowledge. Should they be regulatory? Maybe. But really they aren't. If they were, where's the equivalent of a no-sail order for innumerable other activities? Large public gatherings like sporting events. Air travel. TSA lines. Airports. The CDC really did nothing there at all. In fact, almost nobody did. It was left up to the airlines to each decide what to do, in the air, in their terminals, in waiting areas. The TSA in some ways decided what to do in each location they handled, too. Nobody tried to coordinate that from any leadership position. There was absolutely nothing consistent about how everything eventually was dealt with.

So there's two issues that come up in these arguments about cruising...

 

1) Why is cruising singled out as an industry that's been shut down completely with no opportunities to address the issues facing their crew and passengers, LIKE ALMOST EVERY OTHER INDUSTRY.

2) How can an industry survive if prevented from operating and given no information about how, or when they could restart anything? On the one hand the US has shut them down completely. On the other hand the US says they're ineligible for any help, financial or otherwise, from the government. So which are they, subject to arbitrary perhaps capricious regulation that no other industry is subject to, or part of a widely-connected section of our economy and a necessary component of an industry that should be eligible for the same sorts of help other industries are getting?

Political interference aside, I trust the CDC on basic science. I trust even their operation of vessel sanitation inspections and regulations. But I don't believe the across-the-board shutdown that is continuing even in the face of industry attempts to address issue by issue everything possible is appropriate anymore. And I would be a lot less critical of that if there was even the slightest sign of attempting to help the industry get moving again, such as things like suspending laws preventing operation of cruises to nowhere from US ports but non-US flagged ships/crew.

 

That's one side of the story.  CDC could respond that cruise lines have not demonstrated an ability to prevent outbreaks even during layup.  85 cruise ships have experienced and continue to experience outbreaks.  They could also point to how for many months cruise lines failed to address the concerns raised by CDC in the original no sail order, especially how to prevent outbreaks aboard ship from spreading to local communities and overburdening health care resources.  CDC's frustration with lack of responsiveness from cruise lines is visible in the no-sail documentation on their web site.   Don't know how you can say they are receiving no information or support.  Just through July 10th CDC staff spent 38,000 hours working with cruise lines. 

 

Perhaps cruise lines are being singled out because of the high level of risk they are perceived to present and (until recently) their lack of a plan to deal with it.  Cannot compare to airlines who took prompt action last spring and where just-issued report shows minimal chance of infection.

 

As far as lack of financial support, many AMERICAN companies are currently in dire straits and millions of AMERICANS are out of work.  Financial assistance from Washington isn't unlimited and at some point will have to be recouped through taxes.  Better to aid companies and employees who actually pay AMERICAN taxes.  

 

As far as suspending PVSA, that's an issue for congress, not CDC.

Edited by Baron Barracuda
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I have made the argument here before that the no-sail order amounts to an unconstitutional taking. Although Royal Caribbean is a foreign corporation, its stock is publicly traded in the U.S. and therefore I would argue that the company is being denied due process.

 

The federal government has the ability to impose, temporarily, emergency regulations to protect public health, but these regulations should be the least intrusive needed to do so. At some point, either the federal government will need to proceed with formal rulemaking or drop the no-sail order altogether. They could continue to restrict operations but not under emergency orders indefinitely. The longer this goes on, the more I believe it becomes appropriate for the cruise lines to go to court if they can't work this out with the CDC. The CDC can be allowed to do its job protecting the public while also complying with the constitutional demands that any regulations be promogulated according to the Administrative Procedure Act.

 

While it is too soon to start counting chickens, if a new president is elected next month, I am hopeful that some progress will be made without getting the courts involved. But the longer this goes on, the more urgent the need becomes for the cruise lines to start fighting for some relief. Otherwise this shutdown could go on for a very long time.

Edited by Pratique
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On 10/15/2020 at 7:35 AM, Wedgeh said:

Italy's cases per 100,000 is around a tenth that of Florida.

But Italy has about half the total number of cases of Florida and over twice the amount of reported deaths.

Edited by Junkhouse
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On 10/15/2020 at 5:23 PM, yogimax said:

As Jeremiah said, as knowledge of the virus is gained ways to effectively counter it change.

 

As for using common sense, that doesn't cut it.  Witness the actions of the college kids ignoring all rules with their back to school partying and folks throwing caution to the wind to stand maskless and side by side while shouting at a mass gathering.

Hmmmm....would mass gatherings = protests and rioting?  Let's be fair and objective.

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:45 PM, Jeremiah1212 said:

Until the US has concise leadership with a unified plan, allows the HSS and CDC to do their jobs, uninterrupted, and without interference, and educates the masses that science does change and what guidance was given 6 months ago may be adjusted based on new findings and research, we're in this mess for a long, long time. This is all just incredibly unfortunate, unacceptable and avoidable. 

 

Concise leadership and unified plan.....what would that look like?  WH declares state of emergency and mandates unified national lock down.  What's the reaction.....Unconstitutional, dictatorship, martial law, they can't do that to us.  It should be left to the people, the states, blah, blah, blah.

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14 hours ago, Pratique said:

I have made the argument here before that the no-sail order amounts to an unconstitutional taking. Although Royal Caribbean is a foreign corporation, its stock is publicly traded in the U.S. and therefore I would argue that the company is being denied due process.

 

The federal government has the ability to impose, temporarily, emergency regulations to protect public health, but these regulations should be the least intrusive needed to do so. At some point, either the federal government will need to proceed with formal rulemaking or drop the no-sail order altogether. They could continue to restrict operations but not under emergency orders indefinitely. The longer this goes on, the more I believe it becomes appropriate for the cruise lines to go to court if they can't work this out with the CDC. The CDC can be allowed to do its job protecting the public while also complying with the constitutional demands that any regulations be promogulated according to the Administrative Procedure Act.

 

While it is too soon to start counting chickens, if a new president is elected next month, I am hopeful that some progress will be made without getting the courts involved. But the longer this goes on, the more urgent the need becomes for the cruise lines to start fighting for some relief. Otherwise this shutdown could go on for a very long time.

Not picking on this poster, but this entire thread is a microcosm for the argument of lockdowns.  The USG has implemented a unified and national lockdown on cruises -- what many of you on this thread have endorsed as an acceptable action for the entire country.  But many of the same people object to it for cruising.  The above post going so far as claiming it to be "unconstitutional".

 

While some of us argue to keep the country open for economic reasons, others will argue to open cruises for FCC and Status reasons.  Selective outrage :-).

 

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9 minutes ago, lgonquin said:

Not picking on this poster, but this entire thread is a microcosm for the argument of lockdowns.  The USG has implemented a unified and national lockdown on cruises -- what many of you on this thread have endorsed as an acceptable action for the entire country.  But many of the same people object to it for cruising.  The above post going so far as claiming it to be "unconstitutional".

 

While some of us argue to keep the country open for economic reasons, others will argue to open cruises for FCC and Status reasons.  Selective outrage :-).

 

 

The basic Covid infection control measures of mask wearing, handwashing, and social distancing are internationally promoted. If these measures were followed, lockdowns likely wouldn't be needed. If contact tracing was routinely done, that would help too. No one wants lockdowns, but agree to follow these measures in order to avoid them. Europe is requiring these same measures for the ships that are sailing there. It is not just a US or CDC requirement. 

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48 minutes ago, lgonquin said:

Not picking on this poster, but this entire thread is a microcosm for the argument of lockdowns.  The USG has implemented a unified and national lockdown on cruises -- what many of you on this thread have endorsed as an acceptable action for the entire country.  But many of the same people object to it for cruising.  The above post going so far as claiming it to be "unconstitutional".

 

While some of us argue to keep the country open for economic reasons, others will argue to open cruises for FCC and Status reasons.  Selective outrage :-).

 

It’s unconstitutional as to the company, not as to the customers. Just to clarify.

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  • 5 months later...

Resuming Cruises is Not the CDC’s Decision

Resuming cruises in the United States has just become even more worrying and confusing after a recent Senate HELP Committee hearing entitled “Examining Our COVID-19 Response: An Update from Federal Officials” held on March 18, 2021.

 

It has come across since the pandemic started and cruise lines started suspending operations that it was very much in the CDC’s hands-on when cruises could safely resume.

 

It seems we’re all wrong after some worrying answers given by the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

 

The U.S. Senator for Alaska asked a fundamental question as the state has suffered due to the Conditional Sailing Order and no cruise ship visits for over a year. Senator Murkowski asked:

 

“Can you give me any kind of guidance to give Alaskans in terms of what we might be able to expect with where this guidance is in the process?

When you say later, does that mean at the end of 2021, does it mean in three months, does it mean in one month? what kind of guidance can you provide when it comes to the CDC’s order as it relates to the Conditional Order?”

The basis of the question is to provide more of a timeline to Alaskans and those impacted by no cruise ship calls. Those businesses could be facing a second season of no cruise visitors, and the senator was trying to get some more set timeline details on the Conditional Sailings Order. Something which cruise lines and ports has become very frustrated with.

 

The CDC Director responded with the following the answer:

“We have provided technical assistance on the Conditional Sail where we’ve provided a four-phased strategy for how we could get sail open. We’re in phase 1 of that, moving towards phase 2.”

“This is an inter-agency decision, it is not a decision solely up to the CDC so I would be remiss if I would do that by myself because the decision is not solely up to us.”

The senator then quickly asked if she could provide some timeline on moving to that second phase and the CDC Director answered:

“I can’t simply because I don’t believe it solely in our jurisdiction to address, it’s not necessary the CDC.”

The senator then asked:

“Who else is in the decision-making process beyond CDC?”

The CDC Director then finally said:

“I believe the department of transportation and there are numerous others making these decisions”

The back and forth between the two related to cruises ended with the senator saying she’ll be able to follow up later and that she just needed some sense of timing.

 

We completely understand the senator’s frustrations, and until now, it was assumed that the CDC was running the show on when cruises could resume. Cruise Line haves already said they continue to wait on the CDC for further technical guidance so that they can prepare for the restart of operations in the U.S.

 

Dr. Walensky had made it clear it’s not in her hands, and the real power for deciding on resuming cruises is with the Department of Transport and several others, which we don’t know.

 

Growing Frustration

There are positive signs for resuming cruises coming from everywhere at the moment as the vaccine rollout continues successfully. The UK has already set specific dates on when domestic cruises can return. Many are wondering what about the U.S.

 

There is no clear answer, there have been rumors that the Biden administration is thinking about limited travel from mid-May. However, nothing officially has been announced.

 

Meanwhile, cruise lines are starting to lose hope, it seems. We’ve already started seeing a shift to new homeports outside the U.S., such as Royal Caribbean out of the Bahamas and Israel, Celebrity Cruises out of St. Maarten, and Crystal Cruises also out of the Bahamas. Could this be Plan B for the cruise lines? We’ll see in the coming weeks and months.

 

Miami-Dade Mayor is also pushing towards a cruise restart after sending a letter to Dr. Walensky requesting a meeting. Major cruise ports such as PortMiami need cruising to restart. In Miami-Dade alone, cruise industry activity generates approximately $7 billion and 40,000 jobs annually.

 

Cruise Hive will continue to keep readers updated on the situations in the United States on the resumptions of cruise operations. For now, Norwegian Cruise Line has already suspended operations until July, Carnival Cruise Line until June, and Royal Caribbean also until June.

 

Worrying Answers From CDC Director on Conditional Sailing Order (cruisehive.com)

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@Biker19 that's all well and good, but Alaska has a bigger consideration for cruises restarting there - CANADA.  Until Canada gets their vaccine rollout on a positive trajectory (word is that their total vaccinated is what the US has been able to complete in a single day) Vancouver will simply not be open to cruise ships, preventing Alaska sailings.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, hallux said:

Alaska has a bigger consideration for cruises restarting there - CANADA

While the Senator from Alaska was quoted, I'm sure other Senators are interested to hear the CDC's plan to reopen which don't depend on Canada.

Edited by Biker19
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3 minutes ago, hallux said:

@Biker19 that's all well and good, but Alaska has a bigger consideration for cruises restarting there - CANADA.  Until Canada gets their vaccine rollout on a positive trajectory (word is that their total vaccinated is what the US has been able to complete in a single day) Vancouver will simply not be open to cruise ships, preventing Alaska sailings.

What an excellent transition away from the CDC and its actions to protect the health and safety of Americans by restricting cruising to blaming Canada for Alaska’s cruise tourism problems triggered by an existing US law (PVSA).  Bravo!

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5 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

Thanks for resurrecting this somewhat dormant thread with a bit of Cruisehive propaganda.

The exchange took place March 18.  It is not propaganda, it is what was said.  You can find the video to view

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3 minutes ago, hallux said:

@Biker19 that's all well and good, but Alaska has a bigger consideration for cruises restarting there - CANADA.  Until Canada gets their vaccine rollout on a positive trajectory (word is that their total vaccinated is what the US has been able to complete in a single day) Vancouver will simply not be open to cruise ships, preventing Alaska sailings.


Some data to show your point.
 

To date 2% of all Canadians have had 2 doses. 12% have had one dose.
 

Canada is extending the time frame between shots to 4 months before you get the second dose. Only residents in LTC get both doses in the 3/4 week window. At current rates cruises are not stopping in Canada this year. 
 

If more vaccines are shipped here the 4 month window will be shortened but as of now there is no sign of that happening. 

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, d9704011 said:

What an excellent transition away from the CDC and its actions to protect the health and safety of Americans by restricting cruising to blaming Canada for Alaska’s cruise tourism problems triggered by an existing US law (PVSA).  Bravo!

I was simply pointing out that the CDC hurdle is only a portion of what needs to be addressed before Alaska sailings can continue. I was not intending to slight Canada, and the US is actually helping efforts there by sending 1.5 million does over...

 

It's not just the PVSA but also a visa situation - in order to sail US-only ports the crew members would also need a worker visa.  This is a DHS issue, not CDC, not PVSA.  Yes, getting exemptions would literally be an act of Congress and would have also been pertinent to bring up in that hearing if those parties were present.

Edited by hallux
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6 minutes ago, A&L_Ont said:

 At current rates cruises are not stopping in Canada this year. 

I don't see Canada reversing its ban till Feb 2022 regardless of vaccination rates, just like I don't see the CDC (and other agencies) doing anything to allow cruising before the expiration of the CSO.

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3 minutes ago, hallux said:

I was not intending to slight Canada, and the US is actually helping efforts there by sending 1.5 million does over..

Yes, having access to doses will definitely help our vaccination efforts.  BTW, the US is currently averaging about 2.5M vaccinations per day; Canada has administered about 4M doses.  The rate of dosing is increasing.

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1 minute ago, Biker19 said:

I don't see Canada reversing its ban till Feb 2022 regardless of vaccination rates, just like I don't see the CDC (and other agencies) doing anything to allow cruising before the expiration of the CSO.


Agreed. We also just extended the border closure another month. 

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