President Donald Trump said he would ask Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow the docking of a cruise ship with passengers who have had contact with patients suffering from COVID-19.
“Theyre dying on the ship,” Trump said at a briefing Tuesday, addressing DeSantiss opposition to letting the Zaandam dock.
“Im going to do whats right, not only for us but for humanity,” the president added.
After leaving Argentina in early March, the Zaandam has been stuck at sea, with passengers anxious to disembark once they reach Florida. DeSantis said the states health care resources are already stretched too thin to absorb the ships CCP virus caseload.
“We cannot afford to have people who arent even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources,” DeSantis told Fox News.
“We think its a mistake to be putting people into southern Florida right now, given what were dealing with, so we would like to have medical personnel simply be dispatched to that ship, and the cruise lines can hopefully arrange for that, tend to folks who may need medical attention,” DeSantis said, according to Fox.
A second Holland America ship, the Rotterdam, took on about two-thirds of the Zaandams passengers who passed a medical check. It is expected to arrive at Fort Lauderdale by the end of the week.
Orlando Ashford, President of Holland America, urged authorities to show compassion.
“We are dealing with a not my problem syndrome,” Ashford said in a statement. “The international community, consistently generous and helpful in the face of human suffering, shut itself off to Zaandam.”
“Nations are justifiably focused on the COVID-19 crisis unfolding before them. But theyve turned their backs on thousands of people left floating at sea. Are these reactions based on facts from experts like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), or fueled by irrational fear? What happened to compassion and help thy neighbor?” he said in the statement.
“Already four guests have passed away and I fear other lives are at risk. As of March 30, 76 guests and 117 crew on Zaandam have influenza-like illness, including eight people who have tested positive for COVID-19,” he wrote.
“The COVID-19 situation is one of the most urgent tests of our common humanity. To slam the door in the face of these people betrays our deepest human values,” Ashford wrote.
To date, more than 4,000 people have died from the CCP viruRead More – Source[contf] [contfnew]