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CDC denies cruise sector's request to lift US sailing restrictions


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21 minutes ago, scottca075 said:

 

The top three cruise ports are in FL, account for more than half of all cruise passengers and no other state is close in terms of impact. The #4 cruise port, Galveston, handles less than half the passengers that #3 Port Canaveral does and it is the only port in TX. CA's three ports of origination and termination (in the last year of consolidated data) combined handle less passengers than Galveston.

 

When you add in the minor FL ports of Tampa, Palm Beach and Jacksonville, that adds another 1.6 million pax and gives FL about 63% of all cruise passenger traffic in the U.S, so the impact is certainly disperate.

 

The whole idea of this being some sort of "payback" is still 100% specualtion.

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5 minutes ago, CineGraphic said:

The whole idea of this being some sort of "payback" is still 100% specualtion.

 

I never said it was payback. I merely responded to the person who said "other states have cruise ports too", or words to that effect. FL is by far the dominant state and most impacted.

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For those keen to sail from FL, check out these graphs from Florida DOH...

 

https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats

 

They show that the cases/day and positivity rate in Florida is unchanged for the last month. That's because the vax have been given to seniors and vulnerable populations. But, the current spreaders are younger. (Anyone with a picture of Miami Beach)

 

In fact, the amount of infections generated in FL is vastly understated as the tourists bring covid home to meet their parents.

 

BTW, the number of Americans with at least one vax dose is only 26%...

 

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/region/united-states

 

 

FL New-Cases-March-24-2021-Resozed.jpg

FL Positivity-March-24-2021-Resized.jpg

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6 hours ago, stevenr597 said:

The CDC has lost its way.  They have become a political organization, no longer basing their decisions on the science. 

 

What 'science' are you referencing?
 

The fact that a significant portion of Floridians and/or visitors to the state are by-in-large super-spreaders ignoring the science?

 

https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/florida-adds-5143-covid-19-cases-30-resident-deaths-wednesday/2413422/

 

The desired threshold in most states is a <5% positivity rate, in others <%3.  For example, California is currently averaging 1.6%, New York's @ 3.3%.  

 

Florida's positivity rate is currently averaging @ 6%.  Texas is @ 6.9%

 

The full list is here (it's almost like a who's who of states that base stuff off of the science vs those that base stuff off of YouTube videos and Social Media political memes)

 

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/public-health/states-ranked-by-covid-19-test-positivity-rates-july-14.html

Edited by Skai
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7 hours ago, voljeep said:

99 days ( or so ) until 7/1/21 - the next Princess scheduled cruise ...

 

a 7 day cruise on 7/3/21 has a final payment date of 4/4/21 ... about 10 days

 

next Princess "pause" ???

 We’re booked on a 7/3/21 Alaska cruise.  I don’t expect it to go with a Passenger Services Act, as well as the no sail order, or whatever it’s called, hurdle to be jumped.  I just wish Princess would cancel this voyage before the 4/4 date.

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10 hours ago, mnocket said:

Conditional Sail Order to remain in place until November 2021.

 

I'm growing increasingly disappointed in the CDC.

 

 https://www.tradewindsnews.com/cruise-and-ferry/cdc-denies-cruise-sectors-request-to-lift-us-sailing-restrictions-by-july/2-1-986849

 

 

Even with the restrictions, cruising can restart if:

"The CDC implemented the 40-page order on 30 October that requires owners to follow dozens of stipulations that included holding simulated voyages and installing on-board virus-testing labs."

 

Which does require this to not be a problem any more:

Beyond this, the CDC has not released any guidance to the cruise industry on resuming cruise operations, thus effectively banning sailings in the world's largest cruise market.

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7 hours ago, nocl said:

However we still have a disease incidence level that is almost as high as when the frameworks were issued.

 

We have several variants that are circulating within the US that were not identified when the frame work was issued.

 

We are doing vaccinations, but it will only be after the actual vaccination impact is demonstrated, and the incidence rate is reduced considerably that it will really be time to modify the frameworks.

 

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Not sure why that did not work but. nocl your basic assertion is that "the framework' established many months ago at a time based on a rudimentary base of knowledge is still as valid today as it was then. It may not be as valid anymore and an evaluation of "the framework' may need to be readdressed with present knowledge and understandings. we will always see variants of this disease emerge. the vaccine does not eradicate the virus, it makes the host less susceptible.    I believe that the cruise industry is asking for the CDC to reevaluate their position so that they can resume operation.  

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12 hours ago, beg3yrs said:

I fear you may be right. In spite of Chengkp75's statements that what they're doing takes some time, I haven't seen any information from the CDC regarding their progress or what direction they're taking regarding their technical instructions to resume cruising. The lack of communication and transparency is absolutely stunning. It's stonewalling at its finest.

Let me posit this to you.  The CDC stated over a month ago that the next phase of "technical instructions" (which are not in the CDC's area of expertise, but is in the cruise lines' expertise) will relate to the contracts and agreements that the cruise lines need to form between them and the ports, health care system, transportation system, and accommodation industry, for the disembarkation, treatment, transportation, and quarantining of potential patients.  If the cruise lines were actively working with the CDC, and were frustrated with the lack of specific requirements, why have no cruise lines signed "letters of intent" or "conditional contracts" that would not be binding until the specific levels of service were spelled out by the CDC?  Would they not use these letters of intent as PR to show their "good will" in working towards the goal of restarting?

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6 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Not sure what that has to do with this discussion.  That system has been in place since July.

It shows the progress of each individual ship and that they all  have met the first phase according to what the CDC laid  out and are waiting for guidance for phase 2. 
But Ok. 

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9 hours ago, HappyInVan said:

For those keen to sail from FL, check out these graphs from Florida DOH...

 

https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats

 

They show that the cases/day and positivity rate in Florida is unchanged for the last month. That's because the vax have been given to seniors and vulnerable populations. But, the current spreaders are younger. (Anyone with a picture of Miami Beach)

 

In fact, the amount of infections generated in FL is vastly understated as the tourists bring covid home to meet their parents.

 

BTW, the number of Americans with at least one vax dose is only 26%...

 

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/region/united-states

 

 

FL New-Cases-March-24-2021-Resozed.jpg

FL Positivity-March-24-2021-Resized.jpg

However the death rate has fallen to a significant degree. 

In addition the CDC and NIH have not been taking into account "Natural Immunity" specifically those infected with Covid are immune. 

When taking into account the number of individuals tested positive and number of vaccinations either administered or scheduled to be administered over the next month, we are finally beginning to approach herd immunity. 

Excellent article in the Wall Street Journal about this by Dr. Makary, Professor of Medicine at John Hopkins University. 

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16 hours ago, stevenr597 said:

The CDC has lost its way.  They have become a political organization, no longer basing their decisions on the science. 

 

15 hours ago, TitanSMES said:

This is some kind of payback to the State of Florida.  Just think of all the hotels, air, taxi's, dining, suppliers of goods and other services that support the cruise industry.  This is pure politics and nothing elsel.  

 

IDK about any (political) payback to FL (we will never really know), but more and more this whole thing does stink of politics.  But then so much about COVID-19 has been political, or made political.

 

It does seem logical to me - as an observer from afar and not into the weeds of the sailing requirements - that something setup some months back ought to be reviewed  and perhaps adjusted to current realities. 

 

I also do not understand, and this speaks somewhat to @chengkp75 comments about no letters of intent, etc.  If there is any real progress towards cruise resumption from USA, it is largely hidden IMO.

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1 hour ago, chengkp75 said:

Let me posit this to you.  The CDC stated over a month ago that the next phase of "technical instructions" (which are not in the CDC's area of expertise, but is in the cruise lines' expertise) will relate to the contracts and agreements that the cruise lines need to form between them and the ports, health care system, transportation system, and accommodation industry, for the disembarkation, treatment, transportation, and quarantining of potential patients.  If the cruise lines were actively working with the CDC, and were frustrated with the lack of specific requirements, why have no cruise lines signed "letters of intent" or "conditional contracts" that would not be binding until the specific levels of service were spelled out by the CDC?  Would they not use these letters of intent as PR to show their "good will" in working towards the goal of restarting?

Chief I understand your point to be that the cruise lines have some blame in this fiasco as well. What isn't clear at all is what's going on behind the CDC curtain. You've asked why the cruise lines haven't taken certain steps and I've asked why the CDC can't even update the public on the status of their work. We all know what motivates the cruise lines as the bottom line has to do with money in whatever form you want to measure it, return on investment, shareholder value, profit, etc. You can see this in them returning to limited service in the UK, the EU as well as in the Caribbean. Seems to me if the cruise lines saw a path forward in the USA they'd be on it like a bulldog on a pork chop and according to you, they're not. So, in my opinion (that's what it is cuz I can't see behind the industry curtain either), there's nothing the cruise industry feels it can do other than what it's doing now. That does include developing protocols and executing them in other countries.

 

Well, we don't see that from the CDC either. Their motivation, which should be disease control, has been called into question as far as how they've implemented recommendations and mandates over the course of this pandemic. Yes we know knowledge of the disease changes almost daily but they're so willing to change their instructions to the general public and without a peep about the cruise industry, one has to consider there's an overarching agenda that's driving this obvious lack of performance.

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1 minute ago, beg3yrs said:

Yes we know knowledge of the disease changes almost daily but they're so willing to change their instructions to the general public and without a peep about the cruise industry, one has to consider there's an overarching agenda that's driving this obvious lack of performance.

Okay, let's put you in the CDC's place.  Let's say you are an OSHA inspector, and fully knowledgeable about workplace safety due to decades of working in the field.  Now, you are tasked with developing safety standards for NASA, having no concept of what space exploration involves, and NASA is not assisting you.  How difficult would your job be to develop realistic, viable safety protocols for NASA?

 

And, what would that "overarching agenda" be?

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2 hours ago, chengkp75 said:

Let me posit this to you.  The CDC stated over a month ago that the next phase of "technical instructions" (which are not in the CDC's area of expertise, but is in the cruise lines' expertise) will relate to the contracts and agreements that the cruise lines need to form between them and the ports, health care system, transportation system, and accommodation industry, for the disembarkation, treatment, transportation, and quarantining of potential patients.  If the cruise lines were actively working with the CDC, and were frustrated with the lack of specific requirements, why have no cruise lines signed "letters of intent" or "conditional contracts" that would not be binding until the specific levels of service were spelled out by the CDC?  Would they not use these letters of intent as PR to show their "good will" in working towards the goal of restarting?

As you have pointed out several times, the cruise lines have done nothing to use their expertise to propose how they could safely restart cruises from the ports in the USA. I think you pointed out a long time ago that their motive just might be to wait for vaccines to successfully roll out. And that, in addition to some lines starting from Caribbean ports, seem to still be their strategy.

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9 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Okay, let's put you in the CDC's place.  Let's say you are an OSHA inspector, and fully knowledgeable about workplace safety due to decades of working in the field.  Now, you are tasked with developing safety standards for NASA, having no concept of what space exploration involves, and NASA is not assisting you.  How difficult would your job be to develop realistic, viable safety protocols for NASA?

 

And, what would that "overarching agenda" be?

Good questions Chief.

 

I'll start with the easy one, the overarching agenda. It's probably being pushed on the CDC from on high but my opinion is it goes back to the planning of the USG bailouts for its citizens and corporations. Most of the cruise lines are not US corporations and have structured themselves to avoid as much US taxes as possible (which is not a crime BTW, if you don't like that, change the laws). So, screw 'em as much as you can. To me that's the most obvious agenda however I realize I view the world through my own lens and there are likely to be other things going on as well. Hell, it could just be a staffing, funding or priority problem but why not tell us? Or, fix it!

 

Now, you're absolutely right that an OSHA inspector shouldn't be taking on space standards. However, a good OSHA inspector would do everything possible to avoid that situation in the first place and if it was required to become a NASA type, that inspector would reach out to counterparts at NASA to get all the help and guidance possible. Has the CDC done that with the cruise industry? All the cruise lines have announced their partnerships with the medical community to implement new safety protocols in meaningful and effective ways. What limits the industry is they don't know what the CDC really wants and it won't tell them. Where's the involvement with the CDC? If there is involvement, why not feature it? All I hear is crickets....

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11 minutes ago, ontheweb said:

the cruise lines have done nothing to use their expertise to propose how they could safely restart cruises from the ports in the USA

OK, so the CDC wants the cruise lines to develop the framework and submit it to the CDC for approval ?

 

seems backwards to me, but I'm just ready to cruise again

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26 minutes ago, beg3yrs said:

Has the CDC done that with the cruise industry?

The very same requirements were in place in March of 2020, yet the cruise lines did not come forward with any plans, procedures, or protocols.  The most they did was to fund an advisory panel to make general recommendations, not plans and procedures to implement those recommendations.

 

28 minutes ago, beg3yrs said:

All the cruise lines have announced their partnerships with the medical community to implement new safety protocols in meaningful and effective ways

Where's the beef?  It's quite easy to say, we've partnered with the medical community to implement safety protocols, but where are these protocols, down to individual crew position duties, as the VSP does.  Even the Healthy Sail Panel's 65 page recommendations pale in comparison to the VSP's 132 page construction manual, and the 291 page operations manual.  While the "medical community" may have fine "safety protocols" outlined, I can just about guarantee that each hospital has taken those protocols and defined specific procedures and policies that expand the "protocol" into great detail for the employees.

 

As to the "agenda" of "punishing" cruise lines for being foreign flag, as I've stated before, many times, if the CDC or the US government wanted to punish the cruise lines, they could have done this decades ago, by doing away with the VSP, and going back to the mandate the CDC/USPH had before the VSP, and that is to fully inspect every foreign ship, every time it enters the US, and see what a weekly USPH inspection, along with passenger health interviews would do to embarkation day, both logistically for the cruise line and guest relations-wise for the passengers who had to wait through the delays.  Why would the US government say "screw 'em" to the cruise lines over bailouts, when they could just as easily say "forget them since they aren't eligible".

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34 minutes ago, voljeep said:

OK, so the CDC wants the cruise lines to develop the framework and submit it to the CDC for approval ?

 

seems backwards to me, but I'm just ready to cruise again

Not at all backwards.  CDC sets the requirements, based on epidemiology, which they did back in March a year ago.  Then the cruise lines come back and say, this is how we want to accomplish those requirements, based on our experience in operating ships (what crew is available to perform the requirements, what equipment is needed, space available, time line for modifications, what is just too costly either financially or to the enjoyment of the cruise), and then they talk about the two viewpoints and work out the best compromise.  Kind of like how the two party political system is supposed to work.

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12 minutes ago, chengkp75 said:

Not at all backwards.  CDC sets the requirements, based on epidemiology, which they did back in March a year ago.  Then the cruise lines come back and say, this is how we want to accomplish those requirements, based on our experience in operating ships (what crew is available to perform the requirements, what equipment is needed, space available, time line for modifications, what is just too costly either financially or to the enjoyment of the cruise), and then they talk about the two viewpoints and work out the best compromise.  Kind of like how the two party political system is supposed to work.

so where do the cruise lines currently stand in regards to this ???

 

cruise lines develop policies and procedures, submit to CDC

CDC reviews - nope , not acceptable

 

Pete and RePete were in a boat, Pete fell out, who was left ....

 

exactly

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2 minutes ago, voljeep said:

so where do the cruise lines currently stand in regards to this ???

 

cruise lines develop policies and procedures, submit to CDC

CDC reviews - nope , not acceptable

 

Pete and RePete were in a boat, Pete fell out, who was left ....

 

exactly

As far as I've seen, the cruise lines have not initiated any action beyond the "phase one" of crew repatriation requirements.  They have not submitted anything further than broad recommendations from an advisory panel.

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8 hours ago, charlie murphy said:

Not sure why that did not work but. nocl your basic assertion is that "the framework' established many months ago at a time based on a rudimentary base of knowledge is still as valid today as it was then. It may not be as valid anymore and an evaluation of "the framework' may need to be readdressed with present knowledge and understandings. we will always see variants of this disease emerge. the vaccine does not eradicate the virus, it makes the host less susceptible.    I believe that the cruise industry is asking for the CDC to reevaluate their position so that they can resume operation.  

Actually the data coming out of Israel is that in a vaccinated population it (Pfizer and Moderna) does reduce asymptomatic infection by 94%.  The now myth about it not preventing infection was from the design of the clinical trials, which did not test for asymptomatic infection, only symptomatic infection so it was unknown at that time if the vaccine actually prevented infection.  Somehow some people turned that it was unknown into that it did not prevent.  That has pretty clearly been answered with the Israeli study. At least as far as the original and B.1.117 (UK) strains are concerned.

 

I expect that the CDC is constantly looking at data.  The point I am making is that the status of the pandemic (rate of infection, wide spread nature, new variants, etc) has not materially changed since the order was put into place.  The CDC will change the order when there is a material change. The fact that people are getting vaccinated is by itself not such a change.  Especially not with the levels increasing again in a number of states, even with the vaccinations.  Once the incidence falls sufficiently then will be the time that a change will occur.

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1 hour ago, voljeep said:

OK, so the CDC wants the cruise lines to develop the framework and submit it to the CDC for approval ?

 

seems backwards to me, but I'm just ready to cruise again

No, it is not backwards. The CDC told them what they wanted. It is up to them to figure out how to do it as it is their field of expertise, and then get back to the CDC to see if it is enough or needs some modification. 

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