Gov. Ron DeSantis lobbed his latest attack against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, this time doubling down on his assertion that the administrative agency’s no-sail order is an act of gross government overreach.
“What is the proper role of government,” DeSantis implored during a press conference in Lakeland. “Can an unelected agency just mothball an entire industry for a year with no end in sight?”
The Republican Governor’s criticism comes roughly a week after Florida filed a lawsuit against the federal government contending the no-sail order levied against cruise ships is unlawful.
Florida is a major pillar in the country’s cruise industry, hosting a handful of the globe’s busiest ports and attracting millions of passengers in an average year.
When at full steam, the industry accounts for billions of dollars and thousands of jobs in Florida.
Still, speaking Friday, DeSantis said the no-sail order ripples far beyond economics.
“Who governs?,” DeSantis continued. “Do we govern ourselves to make these decisions for ourselves, or is everything subcontracted out to an unelected bureaucracy?”
Governance aside, DeSantis suggested the no-sail order is fruitless.
Those who wish to sail, he said, will simply choose to embark elsewhere.
“It may be out of the Bahamas instead of out of Florida, but the same people who would come to Florida are just going to go to the Bahamas and sail,” DeSantis said. “It’s going to be the same activity, so all it is (doing) is inhibiting us.”
The cruise and tourism industry at large have suffered huge losses amid the pandemic.
And while increased vaccine availability offered some optimism to the industry, the CDC has offered cruise lines little breathing room in their health guidelines.
The CDC first issued the order more than a year ago on March 13.
The lawsuit, meanwhile, calls for sailing to resume immediately.