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State of Florida Sues CDC Over Cruise Shut Down


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Its frustrating for sure. There's a short, but front page article in the Sun Sentinel today on the suit.  It is no more revealing than what we already know. Each side has presented it's case. I still find it pretty amazing that the CDC argues that the costs to the state of FL (see the study of those costs attached to the suit) are not as important as the steps the CDC has taken to contain the pandemic from being spread by cruise ship operations.

While we know the public health benefit of shutting down the cruise lines was, in fact marginal, that's not at issue here .... at least I don't think it is, not in Judge Merryday's court room anyway. I certainly wish it were and this sort of thing, cost versus benefits analysis, has been sorely lacking since the SARS2 virus became a global pandemic and governments reacted to that in widely varying ways.

We should prepare ourselves for a narrow ruling in this case that isn't going to affect much of anything we care about. I do think that the CDC has been put on notice by the law suit and may slowly but surely, maybe a little bit quicker than they had anticipated, modify the regs and protocols contained in the CSO. We're already seeing that in the broader context of their messaging over the last two weeks. 

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To illustrate the impact of one ship leaving Florida and sailing from the Bahamas, Michael Bayley recently estimated just under 2,000 guests per weekend will be sailing from Nassau. That sounds about

Maybe California will contemplate convening a study to explore the idea of considering a tentative involvement in a limited commitment to a flexible proposal surrounding the concept of engaging in pre

I have no details but I will find the suit and read it. I just posted in another thread I was hoping someone would try. You have to love Desantis!

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9 minutes ago, JeffB said:

Its frustrating for sure. There's a short, but front page article in the Sun Sentinel today on the suit.  It is no more revealing than what we already know. Each side has presented it's case. I still find it pretty amazing that the CDC argues that the costs to the state of FL (see the study of those costs attached to the suit) are not as important as the steps the CDC has taken to contain the pandemic from being spread by cruise ship operations.

While we know the public health benefit of shutting down the cruise lines was, in fact marginal, that's not at issue here .... at least I don't think it is, not in Judge Merryday's court room anyway. I certainly wish it were and this sort of thing, cost versus benefits analysis, has been sorely lacking since the SARS2 virus became a global pandemic and governments reacted to that in widely varying ways.

We should prepare ourselves for a narrow ruling in this case that isn't going to affect much of anything we care about. I do think that the CDC has been put on notice by the law suit and may slowly but surely, maybe a little bit quicker than they had anticipated, modify the regs and protocols contained in the CSO. We're already seeing that in the broader context of their messaging over the last two weeks. 

I have noticed that every time the CDC has modified or issued guidance, it has been just as pressure was being applied.

Therefore, I think the lawsuit has already had an effect.  However, once it is over, I don't expect the CDC to make any further progress until forced by some other lawsuit or political player.

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1 hour ago, JeffB said:

While we know the public health benefit of shutting down the cruise lines was, in fact marginal, that's not at issue here .... at least I don't think it is, not in Judge Merryday's court room anyway. I certainly wish it were and this sort of thing, cost versus benefits analysis, has been sorely lacking since the SARS2 virus became a global pandemic and governments reacted to that in widely varying ways.

This is a great point. This is cited in one of the most recent filings, "AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TRAVEL ADVISORS".

https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.flmd.388773/gov.uscourts.flmd.388773.42.1.pdf

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I will say that the hearing came at a favorable time when the CDC has shown their true incompetent nature in all things Covid not just cruises. Public support and opinion is turning against the CDC as well as the political winds. Politicians are finding it harder to support the CDC every day now. I wouldnt be surprised if we see a clearing of the house at the CDC and they should start with Walensky

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As Freddie Mercury might say, "ALRIGHT.... ALRIGHT."

Thanks for digging this out 0_0! I'm not sure if an Amicus Curaie" brief has the same standing as, say, the "Intervenors," Texas and Alaska have. Don't know if Judge Merryday is compelled by the law to address this point.

 I went back and reviewed FL's initial filing. It does not say it in the same way THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF TRAVEL ADVISORS says it but it nonetheless implies it in it's argument that..... other less restrictive measures could have been required of the cruise lines that would have mitigated virus spread and, more importantly, the CDC CANNOT demonstrate that the draconian measures they did impose on the cruise lines, compared to how the CDC regulated other travel related businesses and conveyances achieved the PH benefits they sought. 

If Merryday has to address this, it is a huge bonus and may result in further removal of restrictions contained in the CSO. Merryday could direct arbitration between the parties and join the cruise lines, the American Association of Travel Advisors Alaska and Texas in that arbitration process. The endpoint is something reasonable that everyone can live with. 

 

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20 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

The Florida case basically said the CDC only reviewed two options, total shutdown or cruises with zero restrictions. And essentially ignored all the mitigation methods the cruise lines were going to use via each's respective healthy sail-type panel

Not surprising at all. Government's panicked when news from Italy was that bodies were piling up outside a collapsing health care system. As time went on and the tons of available data - some of it leading to incredibly wrong PH policy world-wide - started getting better, some governments adapted to the emerging data, some didn't. The US government through HHS didn't and this is going to come out in the wash.

What it comes down to is reasonable people looking at the data and from it, drawing appropriate conclusions and from that implementing good PH policy. It is discouraging to me that this country is repeatedly getting caught up in this circumstance involving all kinds of policy decisions. The aftermath of 911 comes to mind. More recently the Defense Department and Colonial Pipe Line hacks. There will be similar moving of the deck chairs in the aftermath of the SARS2 Pandemic in the US....... like the attack on the Twin Towers, after the damage has already been done.

 

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31 minutes ago, JeffB said:

What it comes down to is reasonable people looking at the data and from it, drawing appropriate conclusions and from that implementing good PH policy. 

Just thought I'd share where some of these public health officials are coming from. They act in a matter that is not consistent with a reasonable understanding of risk... This survey would seem to say it's endemic to the profession, and it's exactly what we're up against in the struggle to get back to normal.

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9 minutes ago, smokeybandit said:

Epidemiologists are rare birds though.  Events like covid are what they've lived their careers for.  They're almost biased by their very nature against these activities.

 

There's nothing on that list that I haven't done since covid that I would have done prior to covid.

That's kind of Nate's point... They're too removed from what the rest of us consider normal to properly bound risk.

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There have been two motions entered since the hearing that took place on the 12th. (1) One is procedural - adding an additional more widely applied -  economic impact study probably aimed at this question that we hope Judge Merryday is looking at, could the CDC have done less to protect the PH wrt the cruise lines and achieved a suitable result without causing billions of dollars of losses (well, yes, no shit!). (2) The court record of the hearing - no decision yet (attached below).

I did not include the economic impact study - it's like a hundred pages or more and to view it all you have to pay for it. We all know what it says. Billions in lost wages and revenue.

gov.uscourts.flmd.388773.44.0_1.pdf

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On 5/12/2021 at 1:13 PM, JeffB said:

A week? Don't think so. This was an expedited or emergency hearing that the court granted (that's a positve). I think its imminent. One possibility is that the Judge has invited the parties to meet under the threat that he's told them one or the other has made a case. 

With the NEW guidelines for vaccinated people not having to wear mask outside or inside, I wonder if CDC is feeling the heat. They have already been overturned in one instance so are their attorneys preparing them for more from this hearing yesterday? Are the politicians putting the heat on? Public had enough? Or a strong combination of all of this and more?

 

Maybe they have decided to follow the science after all?                          Nah couldn't be that

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17 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

I didn't mean to link you Jeff, sorry for that

No worries, it's a jumping off point for your question.

This has been mentioned up thread and elsewhere on these boards. Personally, I think the CDC is trying to update their guidelines to reflect drastically falling case numbers, deaths, hospitalizations and so forth not becaseu they are "feeling the heat.

It's like duhhh but the CDC has resisted the notion that they are out of touch since day one of the pandemic - at this point and wrt the pandemic, they are probably a month, maybe more, behind what the public fully understands: vaccines work in preventing serious illness, death, and transmission of the virus. Lets get back to normal life.

CDC's messaging should have anticipated this sometime in late February and started telling Americans how they can safely return to a post pandemic normalcy. Instead we continued to get this negative Nancy crap from the CDC in the faces of Walanski and Fauci and from Biden himself. They've lost a ton of credibility in the last 15 months. They aren't going to regain it any time soon.  

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23 minutes ago, cruisinghawg said:

With the NEW guidelines for vaccinated people not having to wear mask outside or inside, I wonder if CDC is feeling the heat. They have already been overturned in one instance so are their attorneys preparing them for more from this hearing yesterday? Are the politicians putting the heat on? Public had enough? Or a strong combination of all of this and more?

 

Maybe they have decided to follow the science after all?                          Nah couldn't be that

Corrosion of credibility - the public is pushing back with common sense arguments.  Throw in the law suits which are asking common sense questions.   Possible increased movement of  industry operations outside the US - they become   irrelevant.  (Just a few days ago they were calling for mask us on the private islands )  The BS needle is pegged to the "Full" level.

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Once you lose credibility or the appearance of losing credibility it's 100 times harder to gain it back.  

This new messaging of "vaccinate and you are free to go back to the old normal" has to roll down to cruising at some point.  We'll soon see retailers eliminating their mask policies, then planes and trains will follow and with each step it's harder and harder for the excessive ship policies to be upheld by the CDC. 

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

Once you lose credibility or the appearance of losing credibility it's 100 times harder to gain it back.  

This new messaging of "vaccinate and you are free to go back to the old normal" has to roll down to cruising at some point.  We'll soon see retailers eliminating their mask policies, then planes and trains will follow and with each step it's harder and harder for the excessive ship policies to be upheld by the CDC. 

This is 100% right.  It was a very good day, even if they haven't changed the CSO yet.  

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4 hours ago, twangster said:

Once you lose credibility or the appearance of losing credibility it's 100 times harder to gain it back.  

This new messaging of "vaccinate and you are free to go back to the old normal" has to roll down to cruising at some point.  We'll soon see retailers eliminating their mask policies, then planes and trains will follow and with each step it's harder and harder for the excessive ship policies to be upheld by the CDC. 

I have an interesting anecdote about that: we have a new double a team in town with a new stadium to boot. Had their home opener on Tuesday with masks everywhere and people actively trying to enforce it. Today, not a single mask in sight (except for on the staff) and we were told at the gate they were optional... Even though today was the branded mask giveaway day so they clearly weren't planning on that being the case. In states that have already done away with mandates, today was the beginning of the end with the new CDC guidance.

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7 minutes ago, LizzyBee23 said:

I have an interesting anecdote about that: we have a new double a team in town with a new stadium to boot. Had their home opener on Tuesday with masks everywhere and people actively trying to enforce it. Today, not a single mask in sight and we were told at the gate they were optional... Even though today was the branded mask giveaway day so they clearly weren't planning on that being the case. In states that have already done away with mandates, today was the beginning of the end with the new CDC guidance.

Hoping it rolls out as fast at retailers.  

If my normal grocery store holds onto a mask policy while a less favored grocery store doesn't, I'm changing stores.

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18 minutes ago, JeffB said:

In case anyone is wondering, Judge Merryday has not yet ruled on FL's law suit v. HHS/CDC. The last listing on the docket for this case was yesterday.

Because FL requested an expedited (emergency) hearing, it would not be unusual for a ruling to come this weekend.

I'll be watching.

Or immediately after the stock market closes this afternoon.................. <sarcasm>

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I know Royal is hoping for the best with this hearing but tomorrow is 5/15 and still silence from Royal on July sailings from the US. I understand there is a lot of moving pieces and Royal desperately wants to restart in mid-July but they need to provide some sort of solid update to customers with July sailings from the US. 

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