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Buttigieg says safety is key to get cruise ship industry operating again

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Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room on Friday, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hope cruise ships could be taking passengers by the middle of the summer.

Video Transcript

- Since you're Transportation Secretary, travel obviously a big part of what you have to worry about. To Americans eager to get back overseas, whether it's by plane or by cruise ship-- you know there have been questions about the cruise industry, especially this past week. CDC issued some guidance. There's concerns that it perhaps didn't have enough specifics-- or specific benchmarks, I guess. Have you been in touch with the CDC about that industry's concerns? And to cruise industry leaders who say, we should be treated more like the airlines, what would you say?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, the bottom line is safety, right? And look, I'm the Secretary of Transportation. I can't wait for us all to be on the move as much as possible in a safe and responsible way. But it's got to be safe and responsible. And airplanes have one safety profile, cruise ships have another, vehicles have another. And each one needs to be treated based on what's safe for that sector.

I'll tell you, I certainly care a lot about seeing the cruise sector thrive. And I know that CDC is hopeful that a lot of these operators will be in a position to be sailing by midsummer. And laying out these specific kind of gates that they need to get through is a very important step toward that.

- And to the industry leaders to say midsummer is too late, to the governors who say that's too late for our state economies, you would say what?

PETE BUTTIGIEG: We want to do this as soon as we responsibly can, but we also have to make sure that it's safe.

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