Today, President Trump joined the 7,324,716 Americans who have contracted COVID -19. In a tweet sent this morning at 12:54 a.m., the President disclosed that he and the First Lady tested positive for the virus.

The science-skeptical President down-played the virulence of the virus over the past six months. He has largely refused to encourage the wearing of masks. In turn, many cruise fans have expressed their doubts regarding the dangers of the virus, suggesting that COVID -19 is either a hoax or an exaggerated political effort to remove the President from office.

Six months ago, President Trump (again via a tweet) announced that Carnival, Royal Caribbean and NCL agreed to suspend cruising from U.S. ports. The following day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the “CDC”) entered its first “no sail order” (“NSO”) finding that cruise ships exacerbate the global spread of COVID -19.

Last March, when the President sent his tweet, which described cruise lines as a “great and important industry,” the U.S. had only 2,299 cases and 50 deaths due to COVID-19. Thereafter, the virus that the President promised would “magically disappear” continued to ravage the world. As of today, 7,324,716 Americans contracted the disease and 209,268 have died due to the virus.

Earlier this week, the White House overruled CDC Director Robert Redfield who intended to extend the NSO until February (the current NSO expires on Oct. 31, 2020), according to AXIOS and the New York Times. (A meeting scheduled this afternoon between cruise executives and Vice President Pence to discuss safety proticls has been postponed due to the President’s positive test results). Meanwhile Carnival has cancelled all cruises from the U.S. for the remainder of the year except for cruises departing from the ports of Miami and Port Canaveral, Florida.

The New York Times and other newspapers report that at least twenty-nine people who attended ceremonies inside the White House and at the Rose Guardian associated with the Supreme Court nominee) and/or the recent Presidential debate have tested positive for COVID 19. In addition to the President and First Lady, White House director of strategic communications Hope Hicks, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, two unidentified deputies to Ms. MeEnany, Chair of the Republican National Committee Ronna McDaniel, political consultant and former counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, president of the University of Notre Dame Father John Jenkins, Republican Senators Tom Tillis, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, top Trump advisor (and White supremacist) Stephen Miller, three White House journalists and a White House press staffer (as well as eleven debate staff members for the President in Cleveland) have all tested positive for the virus.

As the Royal Caribbean – NCL joint “Healthy Sail” recommendations readily admit, cruise ships continue to be a vehicle for spreading the infection. For example, when dining at ship restaurants, passengers run a moderate risk of contracting the virus .

Will the spectacle of President Trump’s contracting COVID-19 have any effect on those cruise fans willing to run the risk of infection and  to spread the disease to friends, family members and strangers, including first responders, emergency technicians, nurses and doctors?

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Interested in this issue? We suggest reading Port & Terminal’s Even The Most Protected Man In America Was Infected by COVID-19. Cruise at Your Own Risk.