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Donald Trump blocks order stopping cruise ships sailing from swing state Florida

The White House blocked an order given by CDC Director Robert Redfield which would have kept cruise ships docked longer to spread the spread of coronavirus. (Photo: AP)

Donald Trump’s administration has blocked attempts by another government department to stop cruise ships sailing from swing state Florida over Covid fears.

The ‘no sail’ policy plan was overruled at a coronavirus task force meeting on Tuesday, even after Centers for Disease Control Director Dr Robert R Redfield brought up fears that cruise ships could once again become viral hot spots like at the start of the pandemic.

Tuesday’s ruling means cruise ships can take to the waters again from October 31 – four days before the presidential election.

Brian Morgenstern, the White House deputy press secretary, insisted that the cruise ship plans were not at all politically motivated, despite the industry being of vital importance to the Florida economy.

‘The president, the vice president and the task force follow the science and data to implement policies that protect the public health and also facilitate the safe reopening of our country,’ he said.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live

Donald Trump has three chairmen of major cruise lines advising him on his reopening task force formed in April. The president is a resident of Florida, with victory in the state vital to his chances of winning re-election.

Holland America's cruise ship Zaandam prepares to dock at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on April 2, 2020. - The virus-hit cruise ship Zaandam, which has dozens of ill passengers and crew on board, has been cleared to dock in Florida on April 2, after days stranded at sea. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)
A cruise ship docked in Florida after being hit hard with Coronavirus back in April. (Photo: AFP)

The cruise ship industry brings in $53 billion annually and holds a great deal of political influence in Florida.

One cruise ship owned by US operator Carnival – the Diamond Princess – became a ‘superspreading event’ in February where 700 passengers became sick and 14 died off the coast of Japan.

Redfield has been constantly maligned by the president for promoting mask wearing and had considered resigning, according to The New York Times.

He also told a colleague that one of Mr. Trump’s top coronavirus advisers, was providing the president with misleading information, according to an NBC reporter who overheard Dr. Redfield’s telephone conversation on an airplane.

Dr. Redfield warned in July that allowing cruise ships to sail without proper precautions could lead to a public health disaster, amid fears the vessels are ‘floating petri dishes’ because of their size and self-contained nature.

Between March 1 and July 10, there were close to 3,000 cruise-related cases of Covid and 34 deaths, according to the CDC.

Under Donald Trump’s administration in America, there are over 200,000 Covid deaths and counting.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.



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