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The State of Florida Sued The Federal Government and the CDC and demand that cruise ships be allowed to leave U.S. ports immediately, according to The Orlando Sentinel.
“Today, Florida’s fighting back,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
“We don’t believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data. I think we have a good chance for success.”
DeSantis announced the legal action on April 8 at PortMiami with state Attorney General Ashley Moody.
Moody said the state filed the lawsuit against the CDC, The Biden Administration, and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.
The suit was filed in the United States District Court in Tampa.
The legal action seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against CDC guidelines on cruise ships.
The lawsuit claims that the cruise ship industry “has been singled out, and unlike the rest of America, prevented from reopening. … As a result, the industry is on the brink of financial ruin.”
“If we do not do this, you will see companies continue to move these cruises to other countries,” Moody said. “Florida will not allow that to happen. Lives are on the line.”
Miami, Port Canaveral, and Port Everglades are three of the world’s busiest cruise ship ports.
The cruise ship industry provides jobs for thousands of workers and generates billions for the state’s economy as millions of people typically cruise from one of Florida’s ports each year.
The lawsuit states claim that because other industries like airlines, hotels, restaurants, universities, theme parks, casinos, and bars “have continued to reopen successfully with reasonable COVID-19 protocols,” the CDC’s restrictions on the cruise industry were made “obsolete.”
Monica Sebata, a former employee with Cruiseport Destinations in Miami, made claims that the shutdown led to “heartbreak” and “heart attacks based on sadness” in the case of two employees who died over the last year
Sebata claims that other employees have told her that they were on the verge of suicide.
“What people need is to connect, they need to go back to work,” Sebata said.
The suit claims that Florida “has the authority and responsibility to protect the wellbeing of its public [treasury] and the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.”
“It’s a political stunt, and it’s not viable,” said Bob Jarvis.
Bob Jarvis is 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.”
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Despite the lawsuit, the cruise industry and the governor are not entirely on the same page.
Norwegian Cruise Lines has said it would be requiring proof of vaccination to book future cruises, but DeSantis again stressed his opposition to the idea of “vaccination passports” while not directly addressing the discrepancy. DeSantis issued an executive order banning such passports last week.
But one expert told the Miami Herald that the governor will have a hard time making the case the state has legal standing.