Last Friday, US Vice President Mike Pence (pictured) led a conference call with the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director, Dr Robert Redfield; US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar; former Utah Governor and HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt of the Healthy Sail Panel; and cruise lines’ executives.
Vice President Pence gave a brief overview of the current state of the CDC’s ‘No Sail Order’ and highlighted the shared goal of reopening the maritime economy, with a focus on the cruise line industry safely sailing again.
HHS Secretary Azar and CDC Director Redfield touched on their commitment to the collaborative effort that produced the Healthy Sail Panel’s 74 recommendations, and the Federal government’s support of the industry to safely and responsibly sail again, but cautioned that the cruise industry would have to backstop their venture to resume operations.
Governor Leavitt provided an overview of how the Healthy Sail Panel approached their report and recommendations, and emphasised that the industry was driven by producing real solutions without economic restraints, which did not result in market participants competing on safety. Leavitt indicated that the output needed to be practical and prioritised safety.
The proposal will be presented to the US Government’s Task Force in order to provide a recommendation to President Trump with regard to next steps on the CDC’s ‘No Sail Order’.
The cruise line executives included Carnival Corp’s CEO, Arnold Donald; NCLH CEO, Frank Del Rio; Royal Caribbean CEO, Richard Fain; Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman; and Thomas Mazoum, president of Disney Signature Experience.