Florida is suing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in an attempt to lift Covid-19 restrictions the agency has imposed on the cruise industry for a whole year.
DeSantis made the announcement Thursday alongside state Attorney General Ashley Moody, who said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Biden administration are also named as defendants in the suit.
“If we do not do this, you will see cruises continue to move these cruises to other countries,” Moody said at a news briefing at PortMiami., according to the Orlando Sentinel. “Florida will not allow that to happen.”
“On behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihood depends on the viability of an open cruise industry, today Florida is fighting back,” DeSantis said.
The Republican governor said he believes they “have a good chance for success.”
“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year,” DeSantis continued.
But some critics believe the suit is unlikely to succeed.
“It’s a political stunt, and it’s not viable,” said Bob Jarvis, a constitutional law professor at Nova Southeastern University. “DeSantis doesn’t care that it’s going to be laughed out of court. By the time it gets dismissed his base will have moved on.”
The CDC ended cruising last year after several major outbreaks were reported within cruise ships worldwide.
The agency updated its guidelines last week, saying individuals who have been vaccinated can travel around the U.S. without getting tested or entering quarantine after trips. It also released some information about plans to reopen the cruising industry, though it did not set a timeline.
“People are going to cruise one way or another. The question is are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing it out of the Bahamas or other locations?” DeSantis said Thursday.
“We believe that it is time for us to vindicate the state’s rights and the rights of the state in court and also vindicate the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Floridians who depend on this industry,” DeSantis at the briefing.
“Help is on the way.”
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Author: Damjan Tutarkov
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