Florida Attorney General on why Florida is suing the CDC
Ashley Moody says the economic devastation needs to stop.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody when speaking about the lawsuit filed on Thursday said “Cruises are a vital part of Florida’s tourism industry—employing thousands and boosting our state’s economy. Every day the federal government unfairly keeps this economic giant docked, our economy suffers. The ripple effect of this misguided federal lockdown has far-reaching implications for the cruise industry, international tourism, businesses that would benefit from the influx of visitors, our state’s economy and the thousands of Floridians who work in the industry but what is even worse than the economic damage caused by this heavy-handed federal overreach is the precedent being set by an eager-to-regulate Biden administration that is unfairly singling out and keeping docked our cruise industry on the basis of outdated data. Our litigation seeks to end this federal overreach and allow Floridians to safely get back to work and travel.”
Miami Congressman Carlos Gimenez agrees, “The unwillingness of the CDC to adapt its guidelines to the ever-changing nature of the country’s pandemic response unrelentlessly destroys an industry that generates hundreds of thousands of jobs and several billions of dollars to our economy. These federal bureaucrats, who have no concept of what is actually happening out in the real world, have never had to face the reality of a prolonged furlough or have had their job jeopardized by the pandemic. I guarantee if it were their job on the line and they had to handle the things hardworking Americans have had to face ahead of this pandemic, they would find the solution and rectify this issue immediately. It is time to hold the CDC and this Administration accountable for the damages they are committing against these hardworking Americans and for what they are doing to our local economies. I applaud Attorney General Ashley Moody for filing this lawsuit and Governor Ron DeSantis for backing these efforts.”
The figures provided on the State of Florida website are staggering.
The economic devastation wrought by the CDC’s Conditional Sailing Order cannot be overstated. A September 2020 report from the Federal Maritime Commission estimated that during the first 6 months of the pandemic, losses in Florida due to the cruise industry shutdown totaled $3.2 billion in economic activity, including 49,500 jobs paying $2.3 billion in wages. To date, over 6,000 former cruise industry employees have filed for State unemployment. Since the CDC’s shutdown went into effect, Florida’s seaports have suffered a decline in operating revenue of almost $300 million, and this figure is projection to increase to nearly $400 million in July of 2021. And projections show that Florida’s cruise industry could have produced over $150 million in state and local tax revenues in the 2020-2021 fiscal cruise year.