Michael Reagan: Deregulating the cruise ships


By Michael Reagan - Syndicated Columnist



It almost seems like the CDC wants to sink cruise ships.

Since the start of its war against COVID-19 the CDC — everyone’s favorite public health care bureaucracy — has been torpedoing the cruise ship industry with unnecessarily strict regulations that are only making it harder for the industry to survive the pandemic and its lockdowns.

As recently as Dec. 31 the CDC issued a statement warning all travelers — including vaccinated ones with boosters — to avoid cruise ships, which are really gigantic floating hotels with casinos.

The warning, which was triggered because the total number of COVID cases on the 92 ships that the CDC monitors had spiked to a high level in early December, was a warning we’ve heard many times before:

“The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads easily between people in close quarters on board ships, and the chance of getting COVID-19 on cruise ships is very high, even if you are fully vaccinated and have received a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.”

After the CDC targeted the cruise ship industry, the media piled on by spooking the public with headlines about ships not being allowed to sail or having to return to port because of COVID outbreaks among passengers or crews.

Despite two years of scary publicity that kept many travelers on land and crushed the industry’s revenues, these days a cruise ship is actually one of the safest places on the planet.

Passengers and crews are 100 percent vaccinated. Masks are mandatory in public spaces except when eating or drinking.

As I’ve mentioned before, my wife is a travel agent who books people on cruises, and I often tag along.

Last October when I joined her as she led a small group of brave seafarers around the Mediterranean, we couldn’t have been safer.

If the CDC did impose its cruise ship standards on hotels, no one would go to a hotel. No one would ride airplanes, trains and buses, either.

Today, with omicron racing across the country and infecting millions of the vaxxed and un-vaxxed alike, it looks like everyone on land and sea will soon get the highly contagious but virtually harmless variant – or has it already.

I guarantee that if you tested everyone who checks into a hotel or boards an airplane tonight anywhere in the world, someone will have COVID.

It’s been clear for two years that the CDC’s tough COVID regulations were unfairly harming the cruise ship industry, its employees and stockholders – and that they should have been thrown overboard long ago.

Amazingly, however, the CDC’s bureaucrats have suddenly come to their senses.

The CDC announced Wednesday that what it has been calling its “Framework for Conditional Sailing Order” will expire this weekend, and from now on its COVID “guidance” for cruise ships will become voluntary. It’s up to the cruise lines to decide how to “COVID-proof” their ships.

You could say that this happy decision is a sign that after two years the CDC is finally getting its ship together.

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By Michael Reagan

Syndicated Columnist

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Send comments to [email protected] Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Send comments to [email protected] Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.

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