Politics De Santis's cruise line battle shows contempt for public health federalism
Ethiopia 'at a crossroads' amid spiraling ethnic conflict
GONDAR, Ethiopia (AP) — Aba Yosief Desta preferred not to discuss the ethnicities of victims in the widening conflicts threatening Ethiopia's unity. A wooden cross in hand, the Orthodox monk in yellow robes insisted that victims of massacres “have the same face." Speaking to The Associated Press from the city of Gondar, where he manages a diocesan office, he reflected on the first known massacre of the conflict in the neighboring Tigray region. Ethiopia's government says ethnic Amhara were killed, but ethnic Tigrayan refugees have told the AP they were also targeted.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has manipulated federalism principles in a series of actions designed to aid the Florida cruise ship industry that are less about consistent principles and more about grabbing a headline. His actions may wind up hurting the very same industry, but they also illustrate why Congress needs to examine the proper allocations of state and federal power in a public health emergency.
In October, while former President Trump was still in the White House, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a "conditional sailing order" for the cruise industry that imposed certain restrictions - laboratory testing of crews, simulated cruises, and a certification process - with the goal of returning to full operations in the fall of 2021. On April 2, the Biden administration's CDC. Two weeks ago, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, in consultation with DeSantis, in federal district court in Tampa, challenging the extension.
Minaret vaccination, Rushmore fight, enrollment drops: News from around our 50 states
How the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every stateStart the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
At the same time that he fights federally imposed public health measures, DeSantis has contested the ability of the cruise industry to safeguard crews and passengers by requiring proof of vaccination. He has been abetted by the Republican-dominated state legislature that, on April 29, passed athat would make permanent a ban on COVID-19 vaccine "passports," while also handing the governor power to override local orders during health crises.
The pandemic's impact on the cruise industry in Floridaof $3.2 billion to the state's economy through August 2020, and the loss of nearly 50,000 jobs. Rather than taking action to show he is serious about making it safe to board cruises out of the Port of Miami and other South Florida ports, DeSantis's lawsuit argues that CDC rules damage the South Florida economy to the point of interfering with the state's sovereignty under the federal system, and that the pandemic is, in any event, waning (a claim that relies on an optimistic reading of data.)
Norwegian Cruise Line may avoid Florida if state doesn't permit Covid-19 vaccination checks, CEO says
Florida's new law prohibiting businesses from asking whether employees or customers have been vaccinated against Covid-19 may take a toll on its cruise business. © Richard Tribou/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service/Getty Images Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said it may avoid Florida departures and move its ships elsewhere. The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. said Thursday it could cause the company to suspend Florida departures and move its ships elsewhere.
As my Georgetown Law School colleague, public health law expert Lawrence Gostin, has predicted, the chance that the governor will prevail in court is almost zero. While there is ato the U.S. Constitution, interference with jobs in one private industry in Florida doesn't come close to hitting it. The lawsuit seems to be an effort mostly to embarrass the Biden administration's CDC.
DeSantis went even further when he issued an executive order based on the expanded emergency authorities in the new Florida bill, prohibiting the carriers themselves from making a business judgment about safety on their vessels. The order extends the ban on requiring proof of vaccination contained in the new law to any cruise ship docking in a Florida port.
One cruise ship line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, has just called the governor's bluff. It hasto withdraw from the Florida market completely, contending it is unsafe and imprudent to sail without a vaccination requirement. Norwegian says it will transfer its operations to a U.S. state that is willing to abide by public health best practices.
Cruise line CEO says ships may avoid Florida over COVID-19 passport ban
The CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. is hinting that Florida's new ban on COVID-19 passports may force his company to take its business elsewhere, CNN reported on Friday."At the end of the day, cruise ships have motors, propellers and rudders, and God forbid we can't operate in the state of Florida for whatever reason, then there are other states that we do operate from, and we can operate from the Caribbean for a ship that otherwise would have gone to Florida," Frank Del Rio reportedly said during the company's quarterly earnings call Thursday. Last month, Florida Gov.
Norwegian Cruise Lines apparently recognizes that Florida's rules would require its crews to take life-threatening risks, and potentially could expose the company to legal liability from lawsuits brought by passengers in the event of onboard COVID-19 transmission.
The actions by DeSantis, state legislators and the Florida attorney general illustrate a disregard for a return to normalcy for an industry that took a particular beating in the early days of the pandemic, whenbecame one of the first global health challenges posed by the virus. It also shows a poor understanding of who makes the rules - federal or state government - when it comes to protecting U.S. citizens from the introduction of contagious diseases through U.S. ports.
The power of federal authorities to regulate travel in international waters dates to the founding of the republic, and indeed the origins of public health. States enforced quarantines on arriving vessels from the earliest days of the colonies, and federal laws governing quarantine of vessels. Federal power to prevent the introduction and spread of contagious diseases to the country through travel by sea is undisputed.
Tom Cruise Returns His 3 Golden Globe Awards in Protest Against the HFPA
The A-list star is among a slew of actors and filmmakers calling out the organization for their lack of diversity.ET can confirm that the 58-year-old actor has returned his three Golden Globe trophies as a sign of protest while the organization works to figure out new diversity and inclusion initiatives. Cruise won his first Golden Globe in 1990 for Born on the Fourth of July, then again in 1997 for Jerry Maguire and in 2000 for Magnolia.
This means that, as they apply to sea and air travel, both the vaccination passport ban and rule against mask-wearing are effectively preempted by federal rules that DeSantis can't countermand. But the problems are even more fundamental. The new Florida law creates a one-way ratchet on public health emergency power for the state's governor. He can loosen restrictions, but the ability to tighten them is subject to legislative oversight. The implications for the pandemic's remaining months - and even more for a future epidemic - are worrisome, particularly if future legislatures and governors are from different parties and political considerations dominate the debate on what measures are appropriate to combat illness.
We now know a lot about COVID-19 and its transmission. But what if the next threat is mosquito-borne, or easily aerosolized or long-lived on surfaces? One reason governors enjoy substantial emergency powers in public health emergencies is to allow nimble and flexible responses tailored to each emergency and informed by the best science as it evolves. The DeSantis approach to restarting the cruise industry in Florida shows the toxic mix that results from political ambition coupled with disregard for science and for the overarching role of the federal government when it comes to matters affecting U.S. sea and air borders.
As part of its review of COVID-19 response, Congress will need to determine if it is wise to continue to allow the allocation of authority in public health emergencies between the states and federal agencies to be murky. It may be time to explicitly preempt state power to allow a unified all-of-government response to the next viral threat.
is the executive director of the (SALPAL) and an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law.
Carnival Cruise Line in 'active discussions' with CDC to return to sailing in July .
"President Biden wants to reopen America by the Fourth of July and we want to make sure that the cruise industry can be part of that reopening of America,” said Carnival's president.With their close confines and larger share of passengers who are older and more vulnerable, cruise ships were the sites of some of the first coronavirus outbreaks outside China.