Exclusive: Democratic lawmakers push CDC to enforce cruise restrictions as GOP bill aims to restart industry

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA) are urging Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle P. Walensky to maintain current restrictions on cruising amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We write today with significant concern about the prospect of premature resumption of cruise ship operations that could threaten public safety and increase the spread of the coronavirus,” the two Democrats said in a letter to Walensky Wednesday.

Blumenthal and Matsui asked Walensky to uphold the CDC’s “Conditional Sailing Order,” which prescribes a phased approach to returning cruise ships to U.S. waters. The order, issued in late October, did not provide a clear date for the resumption of sailing; nor did the additional guidance the CDC published in early April.

“Failing to adhere to this guidance could create unsafe conditions that jeopardize public health,” wrote Blumenthal, who serves on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Matsui, who serves on the House Subcommittee on Healthas well as the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.

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