DR. Scott Gottlieb, who advised cruise lines on Covid protocols, told CNBC on Friday that he believed a safe environment could be created on the ships.
Gottlieb’s comments came a day after Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis informed the state sued the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe request to the health department to allow cruise ships to resume their voyages immediately from the US ports.
Gottlieb, co-chair of an advisory committee for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and royal caribbeansaid on “Squawk Box” Companies have sensible guidelines in place to prepare for when to start operations after a Covid hiatus lasted over a year.
“They are committed to things like mandatory screening of passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line recently came out and said they are Vaccination may be required of all of their passengers, “said Gottlieb, who served as the Food and Drug Administration’s agent during the Trump administration from 2017 to 2019.
Gottlieb also noted that social distancing was possible on the ships, saying “these cruises will not be operated at full capacity.”
“When you start implementing all of these public health recommendations, you start creating an environment that could be pretty safe,” he argued. “I believe you can create a safe bubble around this experience, especially if you compare it to other vacation experiences where you have no control over the surroundings,” he added.
The CDC did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request to comment on Gottlieb’s comments.
While the CDC has issued some guidelines For cruise ships as part of their conditional sail orders, the agency has not yet set a date on which operators can resume sailing from US ports.
The cruise industry is getting impatient for businesses Billions in debt and new shares issued Fund operations while sailing revenues dried up. A trade group called on the CDC late last month allow a gradual restart in early July. The operators have said that they are see strong booking demandThis suggests that people are starting to feel comfortable returning to cruising.
In a CNBC interview on Wednesday carnival Chairman Arnold Donald pointed out differences between restrictions in America and other countries around the world where cruises have resumed in some locations.
“A person can fly from the US to another country today. Hop on a cruise ship and then return to the US, whether or not they have been vaccinated,” Donald said “Close the bell.” “But here in the US at the time, even if you were vaccinated, you couldn’t get on a cruise ship.”
Donald praised the Biden government for their work in distributing Covid vaccinations in the United States around 20% of the population is fully vaccinated. He believes the cruise industry and CDC can work together to reach an agreement on sailing.
“The government has made great strides on vaccinations and has been in command of this matter,” said Donald. “We are confident that we can work together and come up with something that would be a workable solution and hope we have some more sailing out of the US this summer.”
– – CNBC’s Katie Tsai contributed to this report.
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC employee and a member of the boards of directors of Pfizer, the genetic testing startup Tempus, the healthcare technology company Aetion Inc., and the biotech company Illumina. He also serves as co-chair of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings‘ and royal caribbean“Healthy Sail Panel”.