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U.S. Congressmen demand answers from CDC about decisions to allow cruise ships to sail

11 Dec 2020
Matt Hochberg

Two members of the United States Congress are demanding answers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) about decisions related to cruise ship operations.

The Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) sent a lettter to the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking why they have not received records related to decisions made surrounding the cruise industry.

In the letter, the Congressmen asked the CDC more than seven months ago for records related to "the dangers posed to the cruise industry" from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, they were interested in knowing how the Carnival Corporation and its affiliated cruise lines, had responded to the pandemic. 

Essentially, the CDC dragged its feet and has only sent back  a single records production on July 10, 2020.  Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard has sent over more than 10,000 pages of requested information in the same time frame.

The CDC's response has been "completely unacceptable", according to both Congressmen.

"The documents are a key part of the Committee’s ongoing oversight efforts regarding the actions taken by both the Carnival Corporation and the CDC in response to the threat of COVID-19 on cruise ships," the members of Congress said in a statement.

In short, they believe the thousands of documents needed are part of a greater "concern that Carnival and its nine affiliated cruise lines were ignoring the public health threat of the pandemic in its public-facing marketing materials".