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Florida sues to reopen cruise ports


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15 hours ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

News today reports that COVID-19 is on the increase in 38 states - three-quarters of the US.  Pfizer has also announced that a third vaccination will be required to protect against new strains of COVID-19.  We are not out of the woods yet and could be looking at a tough summer in many places.  We completed the Pfizer series in late January and maintained social distancing and using PPE in public places.  Did notice an increase in massless shoppers at the supermarket Sunday AM.  Not good.  As Yogi Berra said: "Its not over until it's over."  We have cruises booked for 2022 and looking forward to embarking again.  However, will not be enjoying the open seas if this pandemic isn't under control.

 

And, it's just not US cruising.  Our cruises include two trans-Atlantics.  EU countries are currently stressed to control more outbreaks, especially Italy and France.  UK is struggling, as well.  Traveling to, across and back from Europe could be a real challenge if things don't improve.  I am content to let the medical professionals, the epidemiologists, at the CDC make the determinations.  

This is what the CEO of Pfizer said in his comments about a booster vaccination.  It was his speculation not an announcement based upon new data.  He obviously would like to keep selling the vaccine every year.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/15/pfizer-ceo-says-third-covid-vaccine-dose-likely-needed-within-12-months.html

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16 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

It appears NCL already has submitted what they believe is a serious proposal on April 5th to restart cruising out of US ports in July 2021.

 

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Submits Plan to CDC. Asks for July 4 Restart - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News

 

And NCLH's has submitted a follow-up email today requesting a respond to their proposal as it appears they "have yet to receive even an acknowledgment of this proposal".

 

Norwegian Cruise Line Wants an Answer from the CDC - Cruise Industry News | Cruise News

 

Note: I realize I posted this on a HAL thread as well, but I wanted to post this here as well as it seems pretty relevant to the discussion.

That’s interesting because the CDC put out a lengthy statement day before yesterday saying they met with cruise line execs and HHS staff at the White House on Monday the 12th to move forward on the CSO in league with the cruise lines.  Why is NCL sending emails requesting a response when the powers that be are already working together?  It’s just more public posturing.  It’s highly unlikely that the CDC is going to accept NCL’s proposal because it does not allow for any oversight.   

 

EDIT:  This is the CDC statement:

 

CDC Statement on Cruise Meeting: The CDC issued the following statement to Cruise Week this morning: "Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and White House staff met with cruise industry leaders and executives to discuss the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order (CSO) on Monday, April 12, 2021. Cruise industry leaders were able to provide input into the phases of the CSO, expressed frustration with the requirements, discussed the incorporation of vaccination requirements into restarting passenger voyages, and expressed the need to establish a working group with industry and CDC to work forward to resume cruising as soon as possible. Cruising will always pose some risk of COVID-19 transmission, and COVID-19 vaccines will play a critical role in the safe resumption of passenger operations. Cruise travelers represent a global population, and as more people are fully vaccinated worldwide, the phased approach of the CSO also allows CDC to incorporate these advancements into planning for the safe resumption of cruise ship travel. CDC is committed to working with the cruise industry and seaport partners to resume cruising following a phased approach required by the CSO. CDC and DHS senior leadership will begin meetings with cruise industry leaders starting this week. The objective of the meetings are to mutually review the top priority issues of the cruise industry to work out implementation details of the CSO, including the impact of vaccines and other scientific developments since the CSO was issued in October 2020. This goal aligns with the desire for the resumption of passenger operations in the United States by mid-summer, expressed by many major cruise ship operators and travelers."

Edited by harkinmr
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39 minutes ago, TeeRick said:

This is what the CEO of Pfizer said in his comments about a booster vaccination.  It was his speculation not an announcement based upon new data.  He obviously would like to keep selling the vaccine every year.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/15/pfizer-ceo-says-third-covid-vaccine-dose-likely-needed-within-12-months.html

J&J has also commented that an annual booster will be required.  Moderna technology is similar to Pfizer so those having received Moderna will also likely need a booster.  Tests are showing, and more testing is in progress, that the efficacy of the inoculation decreases with time.  That and new strains drive the need for a booster.  Not unlike the annual vaccination for the latest influenza variant.  It was always anticipated that a booster would be needed.

 

On a similar theme state data are showing that Florida is starting to lag behind others in percentage of population vaccinated.  If this trend continues the use of Florida ports for cruising will become moot.

Edited by Ride-The-Waves
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1 hour ago, harkinmr said:

That’s interesting because the CDC put out a lengthy statement day before yesterday saying they met with cruise line execs and HHS staff at the White House on Monday the 12th to move forward on the CSO in league with the cruise lines.  Why is NCL sending emails requesting a response when the powers that be are already working together?  It’s just more public posturing.  It’s highly unlikely that the CDC is going to accept NCL’s proposal because it does not allow for any oversight.   

I think Mr Del Rio did mention the Monday meeting in his follow-up email to the CDC yesterday.

 

"As you know, our industry had a meeting with your office on Monday, and while we appreciate the dialogue, our proposal was not addressed. Going forward, we understand the industry may be having regular meetings with your office but remain concerned that such meetings produce the nonexistent results they have had since last year."

 

If CDC oversight is one of the main concerns with their proposed plan (outline), then we'll see how NCLH reacts when the CDC responds. But as we discussed last night in this thread, the key will be in the CDC response. So, we wait ... 

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9 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I think Mr Del Rio did mention the Monday meeting in his follow-up email to the CDC yesterday.

 

"As you know, our industry had a meeting with your office on Monday, and while we appreciate the dialogue, our proposal was not addressed. Going forward, we understand the industry may be having regular meetings with your office but remain concerned that such meetings produce the nonexistent results they have had since last year."

 

If CDC oversight is one of the main concerns with their proposed plan (outline), then we'll see how NCLH reacts when the CDC responds. But as we discussed last night in this thread, the key will be in the CDC response. So, we wait ... 

I understand that NCL is awaiting a direct response to its proposal, but I think that the CDC statement gives the distinct impression that the NCL proposal on its own is not going to work.  So they come out and publicly say such.  That is not really going to accomplish much.  The CDC seems to be reinforcing their position that cruising will proceed within the confines of the CSO, although there may be modifications to the framework based on cruise lines' concerns and the working group results.  I don't believe that the CSO is going to be eliminated in its entirety under any circumstances and cruise line executives should be able to understand that from the most recent CDC statements.  Again, it is just continued efforts at public and political pressure, which they are more than entitled to do.  

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3 minutes ago, harkinmr said:

I understand that NCL is awaiting a direct response to its proposal, but I think that the CDC statement gives the distinct impression that the NCL proposal on its own is not going to work.  So they come out and publicly say such.  That is not really going to accomplish much.  The CDC seems to be reinforcing their position that cruising will proceed within the confines of the CSO, although there may be modifications to the framework based on cruise lines' concerns and the working group results.  I don't believe that the CSO is going to be eliminated in its entirety under any circumstances and cruise line executives should be able to understand that from the most recent CDC statements.  Again, it is just continued efforts at public and political pressure, which they are more than entitled to do.  

I thought this was an interesting CNBC article that seemed to sum up the various angles being used to disrupt the CSO.

 

Cruise line CEOs met with White House Covid team, pressed for U.S. sailings to resume, sources say (msn.com)

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1 hour ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

J&J has also commented that an annual booster will be required.  Moderna technology is similar to Pfizer so those having received Moderna will also likely need a booster.  Tests are showing, and more testing is in progress, that the efficacy of the inoculation decreases with time.  That and new strains drive the need for a booster.  Not unlike the annual vaccination for the latest influenza variant.  It was always anticipated that a booster would be needed.

 

On a similar theme state data are showing that Florida is starting to lag behind others in percentage of population vaccinated.  If this trend continues the use of Florida ports for cruising will become moot.

There might likely be a need for a booster at some point with any or all of these vaccines.  But the timing and frequency of a booster - if required- has actually not yet been determined.  The immunological data is still being collected from the original ongoing Phase 3 clinical trials where subjects are still being followed.  Both Pfizer and Moderna have only very recently announced 6 months of follow up data which is looking good for antibodies.  J&J has not presented any follow up data yet because it is too early for them.   Of course new variants might require booster vaccines at any time in the future and Pfizer, Moderna and J&J have already made them in the lab anyway.  Pfizer is testing a variant vaccine in the clinic already.  I have not seen any published data that says efficacy of the current vaccines decrease over time.  Can you provide a reference?

 

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021/04/how-long-does-the-covid-vaccine-last.html

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At this point it is abundantly apparent (to everyone but the cruise lines?) that the CDC is not wavering. The CSO is not going to disappear. And after the CSO does go away, CDC required COVID protocols and policies will live on for a long long time. Why do cruise lines think this is just going to magically disappear based on their good word? 

 

The CDC is open to discussion and proper proposals through the appropriate channels, including vaccines and no vaccines approaches, but sternly worded open letters and ranting television interviews are not how they operate. Cruise lines need to step it up and play by the rules. Regulations and policy are not new to this industry. 

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If the CDC were in charge we would all be locked in our homes with the doors and windows nailed shut. So they will only release the cruise lines when there is overwhelming evidence that no controls are necessary or when public opinion demands it. 

The good news is the trend in the US is generally good with the percent of infected trending towards younger people with no increase in the rate of deaths in the under 45 population. 

Also it does not appear the US will follow Europe in another wave of deaths as the US has consistently followed Italy by about 4 weeks and while deaths in Italy started climbing in early March the US death rate has continued to decline from over 2000 per day in March to under 700 today. 

If vaccinations continue to increase and the death rates also continue to decline I am hopeful everyone will see the end of the tunnel by early summer. 

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Looks like  this may be going on for awhile..... & there may be more cancelled cruises ahead from US ports..

 

Wondering if we could lift and shift to Nassau or Barbados and use up our fcc...

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43 minutes ago, p18750 said:

If the CDC were in charge we would all be locked in our homes with the doors and windows nailed shut. So they will only release the cruise lines when there is overwhelming evidence that no controls are necessary or when public opinion demands it. 

The good news is the trend in the US is generally good with the percent of infected trending towards younger people with no increase in the rate of deaths in the under 45 population. 

Also it does not appear the US will follow Europe in another wave of deaths as the US has consistently followed Italy by about 4 weeks and while deaths in Italy started climbing in early March the US death rate has continued to decline from over 2000 per day in March to under 700 today. 

If vaccinations continue to increase and the death rates also continue to decline I am hopeful everyone will see the end of the tunnel by early summer. 

 

The reality is even with great vaccine progress, in the past month we've gone from a 7 day average of around 52,000 cases to now nearly 70,000 cases per day as of yesterday. Hospitalizations are also ticking upward, with deaths slowly ticking upward as well. People are living like COVID is over and we're going to see the result of that. More disease incidence is more opportunity for variants. Death rate is important but that's not the only worthy element. It's now even more obvious than ever that people need to continue being cautious and get vaccinated, ASAP. For the entity responsible for disease (not cruising), those trends are going to be concerning. 

 

IMO this is one of the better blurbs the CDC has posted:

It’s Complicated (but the Basics Still Work)

We are in a complicated stage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Americans are being vaccinated every day at an accelerated pace. As of April 15, 2021, more than 125 million Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine, and more than 78 million Americans are fully vaccinated. And yet, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing in some areas of the country, and among younger people who have not yet been vaccinated. The reasons for these increases are complicated but potentially related to emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants that are becoming predominant in some communities.

 

Nationally, COVID-19-related emergency department visits as well as both hospital admissions and current hospitalizations have risen among patients ages 18 to 64 years in recent weeks. The good news is that emergency department visits and hospitalizations among people ages 65 years and older have decreased, likely demonstrating the important role vaccination plays in protecting against COVID-19. As of April 15, 80% of people 65 years or older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 63.7% are fully vaccinated.

As access to vaccines for all Americans increases, we have reason to be hopeful. However, until more of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, consistent use of prevention strategies, such as universal and correct use of maskssocial distancing, and hand washing, will help to limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Even if you have been fully vaccinatedagainst COVID-19, you should keep taking these everyday precautions in public places.

 

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/covid-data/covidview/index.html

Edited by paulh84
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Just now, paulh84 said:

 

The reality is even with great vaccine progress, in the past month we've gone from a 7 day average of around 52,000 cases to now nearly 70,000 cases per day as of yesterday. Hospitalizations are also ticking upward, with deaths slowly ticking upward as well. People are living like COVID is over and we're going to see the result of that. More disease incidence is more opportunity for variants. Death rate is important but that's not the only worthy element. It's now even more obvious than ever that people need to continue being cautious and get vaccinated, ASAP. For the entity responsible for disease (not cruising), those trends are going to be concerning. 

Well, as many have realized counting cases for Covid-19 is not a good metric as who is infected is more important than the number. For example while under 45 represent over 60% of cases they are only 4% of deaths. Conversely those over 65 are 13% of cases but 75% of deaths. So as I said the good news is the percentage of infections in those under 45 are increasing and infections for those over 65 are decreasing. 

The seven day moving average of deaths in the US for the last 7 days are: 1028, 981, 1028, 981, 981, 748. 608. For the first week of March the seven day moving average of deaths was 2150, 2056, 2010, 1916, 1776, 1916, 1776.  As you can see the trend of deaths in the US is not increasing but decreasing. There may be specific days in which deaths increase but taking the 7 day moving average shows the overall trend. 

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19 minutes ago, clo said:

Could you provide reputable and verifiable citations to support this claim. TIA.

I don't want to start an argument but surely you can see the methods the CDC has espoused have been around since the middle ages and were codified by the US department of health in the pandemic of 1914. There is nothing new about quarantines, masks and social distance, all were put in place in the 1900s in the US. I can provide references but they are easily researched. I would recommend the book "The Great Influenza" by John Barry if you want insights into the development of epidemic procedures in the US. 

Also the CDC procedures for development of drugs is still driven by the Thalidomide disaster in the 1950's. The reason there are few vaccines developed for deadly diseases is the time to develop and approve  them is normally longer than it takes for the population to develop herd immunity. Only presidential intervention provided the incentive for the development of the vaccines we are currently taking. The previous record short time for a vaccine to be approved was the mumps which was approved in 1963 after 4 years of development and trials. Can you imagine waiting another three years before a vaccine was available? We would likely see herd immunity before that with the resultant millions of deaths in the US. And yet that is the current approach by the CDC, don't you think they need to change before we have another pandemic virus? 

Science has evolved everywhere since the 1950's, we now have cell phones, super computers on our desks, electric cars, satellite navigation and hundreds of other advances. Yet the procedure to approve a vaccine by the CDC has not budged since 1963. 

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15 minutes ago, p18750 said:

I don't want to start an argument but surely you can see the methods the CDC has espoused have been around since the middle ages and were codified by the US department of health in the pandemic of 1914. There is nothing new about quarantines, masks and social distance, all were put in place in the 1900s in the US. I can provide references but they are easily researched. I would recommend the book "The Great Influenza" by John Barry if you want insights into the development of epidemic procedures in the US. 

Also the CDC procedures for development of drugs is still driven by the Thalidomide disaster in the 1950's. The reason there are few vaccines developed for deadly diseases is the time to develop and approve  them is normally longer than it takes for the population to develop herd immunity. Only presidential intervention provided the incentive for the development of the vaccines we are currently taking. The previous record short time for a vaccine to be approved was the mumps which was approved in 1963 after 4 years of development and trials. Can you imagine waiting another three years before a vaccine was available? We would likely see herd immunity before that with the resultant millions of deaths in the US. And yet that is the current approach by the CDC, don't you think they need to change before we have another pandemic virus? 

Science has evolved everywhere since the 1950's, we now have cell phones, super computers on our desks, electric cars, satellite navigation and hundreds of other advances. Yet the procedure to approve a vaccine by the CDC has not budged since 1963. 

Huh?  The EUA is new and resulted in quick use of vaccines.  How vaccines were approved last century has no bearing on how the CDC, and the FDA, works today.

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16 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Huh?  The EUA is new and resulted in quick use of vaccines.  How vaccines were approved last century has no bearing on how the CDC, and the FDA, works today.

I beg to differ, the CDC still used the "Gold Standard" of drug evaluation developed in the 1960's. Other than using computers rather than typewriters and adding machines the process has not substantially changed. 

The Emergency Use Authorization is not new and has been used before, for example for the ebola vaccine under the Obama presidency. 

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21 minutes ago, Ride-The-Waves said:

Huh?  The EUA is new and resulted in quick use of vaccines.  How vaccines were approved last century has no bearing on how the CDC, and the FDA, works today.

Thank you. And how vaccines are developed now is quite new.

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3 minutes ago, clo said:

Thank you. And how vaccines are developed now is quite new.

Exactly, the development of vaccines has advanced, the approval process is still stuck in the 1960s. Exactly my point. 

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1 minute ago, p18750 said:

Exactly, the development of vaccines has advanced, the approval process is still stuck in the 1960s. Exactly my point. 

From what I've seen the FDA, CDC and others in the US are notoriously slow to 'rule.' There are loads of drugs that are approved in other countries where the FDA wants MORE. So it's not just this COVID issue but there seem to be those who only care about their vacation.

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1 hour ago, p18750 said:

Here is a list of previous EUAs going back to 2005 

Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) - All Items (phe.gov)

 

1960s?  1914?  Nope.  And the FDA is the approval agency, not CDC.  Maligning the CDC for everything doesn't help just because they have determined that returning to cruising needs to be a verifiable step-by-step approach.  It has a job to do within the USG, namely to protect Americans rom diseases and viruses.  It does it very well when there is no interference in its reporting.  

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5 hours ago, p18750 said:

I beg to differ, the CDC still used the "Gold Standard" of drug evaluation developed in the 1960's. Other than using computers rather than typewriters and adding machines the process has not substantially changed. 

The Emergency Use Authorization is not new and has been used before, for example for the ebola vaccine under the Obama presidency. 

Uh  -  FDA  not CDC.   CDC does not evaluate and approve drugs, FDA does.  CDC advises how it is to be used and distributed, but not its approval.

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20 hours ago, clo said:

From what I've seen the FDA, CDC and others in the US are notoriously slow to 'rule.' There are loads of drugs that are approved in other countries where the FDA wants MORE. So it's not just this COVID issue but there seem to be those who only care about their vacation.

There is a good reason that FDA sometimes requires more information before approval.

 

Other regulatory bodies elsewhere will sometimes approve a new product for use with very little clinical trial data  only to have to withdraw the product when severe adverse side effects start appearing.

 

The general US public does not necessarily hear about the problems as the product is not in use  in the US.

 

The "infamous" thalidomide cases in the US were due to pregnant women who either went to Europe or had some one bring the drug back for them.

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