WEB EXTRA: Gov. Ron DeSantis Announces State Filing Lawsuit Against Feds To Reopen Cruise Industry

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is filing a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that cruise ships be opened immediately, he announced on Thursday.

Video Transcript


RON DESANTIS: You know, if you look around the country and compare the rest of the country the state of Florida, in terms of the economy, unemployment's at 4.7% for the last report. Nationally, it's at 6.3%. And that's a result of us giving people-- making sure people's right to work was protected, making sure businesses had the right to operate. This is something that's being imposed, this shutdown by the CDC and the federal government.

And so if you look at Miami-Dade County-- even though the state of Florida is far below the national average, in terms of the unemployment rate, here in Dade County, it's one of the highest unemployment rates in the entire state. And it's way higher than the state average and higher than even the national average. And the main reason for that is because the federal government and the CDC has locked down this industry for over a year.

This is not reasonable. This is not rational. And guess what? If they say that cruising is not safe, even with widespread vaccine availability, all the testing you want-- they have now antibody treatments that have been very effective. They have all these different things. It's a much different situation than a year ago. But guess what? People are still going to go on cruises.

You know they're going to do? Instead of flying to Miami, spending money to stay in our hotels, spending money to eat in our restaurants before they get on the ship, they're going to fly to the Bahamas. And they're going to get on the ships from the Bahamas, and they're going to spend the money in the Bahamas. And then they're going to do the same thing that they would have done. It just won't be helping the state of Florida, and it won't be helping our folks here who really depend on it.

So how does that make any sense? It doesn't. It's irrational. And this is something that we don't believe can continue any longer. And so today, I'm happy to announce that on behalf of the tens of thousands of Floridians whose livelihood depends on the viability of an open cruise industry, today, Florida's fighting back. We're filing a lawsuit against the federal government and the CDC demanding that our cruise ships be reopened immediately.

This will be something that we believe we have every legal right to insist upon. We don't believe the federal government has the right to mothball a major industry for over a year based on very little evidence and very little data. And I think we have a good chance for success.

But here's the thing. It's our responsibility to fight for our fellow Floridians. If they are in dire straits-- and you heard Monica and the stories. It's not just about even dollars and cents. Obviously, people want a paycheck. They want to be able to control their own destiny and do things like that. But it's also about your livelihood, how you feel about yourself, how your mental health is doing, all these other things that are negatively affected when you have something like this happen where you're shut out.

And the thing is, too, is not only are they shut out, there's really just no end in sight. Because whatever they do next, it's probably going to be so cumbersome that the cruise lines aren't even going to be able to sail under some ridiculous order with you having to do all these other things.

So our view is people can make the decisions that they want to make. People are going to cruise one way or another. It's a-- question is, are we going to do it out of Florida, which is the number one place to do it in the world, or are they going to be doing out of the Bahamas or other locations? And so I think that the answer to that question should be obvious for Floridians. We want our folks to be able to go back to work. We want to be able to stand up for them and their families. And so today, we're doing that.

I'm very happy to be partnering with our attorney general, Ashley Moody. We've been discussing this now for many weeks. We knew that we had to do something. We did have an event at Port Canaveral a couple of weeks ago imploring the CDC to take action. They've not taken sufficient action, and so we believe that it is time for us to vindicate the state's rights and-- the rights of the state in court and also vindicate the livelihoods of the tens of thousands of Floridians who depend on this industry.

So the attorney general is going to come up, give you a little bit more information on what we're doing today. But I couldn't be more proud to be working with her on this very, very important issue. And on behalf of everyone you see standing back here, everyone else in the community, particularly in Miami-Dade County, you know, help is on the way here. We're going to keep at this until we finally get it open.