Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is joining Florida and Alaska in a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention over COVID-19-related guidelines that continue to sideline the cruise ship industry. Paxton intervened over concerns the economic losses in the industry during the pandemic continue to hit local and state economies hard.
John Wayne Ferguson is a senior reporter for the Galveston County Daily News. He told Texas Standard that two cruise ships recently returned to Galveston, but not to embark passengers. The arrival of the ships, which have been absent from the port for more than a year, marked the start of a crew vaccination effort aimed at making sailing possible this summer.
Florida is home to three of the top cruise terminals in the United States, and that state’s governor filed suit against ongoing sailing restrictions.
“Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis files a lawsuit against the CDC, kind of demanding that the CDC drop its orders that stop cruise ships from sailing out of U.S. ports,” Ferguson said.
Highlights from this segment:
– The lawsuit cites increased vaccination rates and decreased COVID-19 infections as a justification for lifting restrictions on cruise ships.
– The Port of Galveston claims to have a $1 billion impact on the tourist industry. It is the fourth-largest cruise terminal in the country.
– The CDC says it’s possible that cruises could resume as soon as July. This schedule would require increased vaccination rates and other measures aimed at safeguarding customers. The lawsuit demands an immediate end to pandemic restrictions on cruising.