Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
Two massive cruise ships carrying hundreds of passengers displaying flu-like symptoms after a coronavirus outbreak was detected on board will disembark in Florida after reaching an agreement with local authorities.
Fox News reported
that the cruise ships, the Zaandam and the Rotterdam of Holland America Line, is currently anchored off the coast of Florida waiting to allow some 233 passengers and crew to enter the U.S. The outlet reported that "at some point since March 22"
the passengers started showing "influenza-like illness symptoms"
and at least eight passengers had tested positive for COVID-19. Four "older" guests aboard the ship also reportedly died on the Zaandam last week.
On Wednesday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Broward County officials had not decided yet whether to let the two cruise ships dock and let the passengers disembark. Earlier in the week, he said it would be a "mistake
" to let the ship dock.
"As many of you know, there's some cruise ships that people are monitoring, bearing on to southern Florida,"
DeSantis said during the press briefing on Wednesday. "I obviously am not in control of the port that is run by the counties, in this case, Broward County, and I know they're in consultation with the cruise ships. Clearly we're going to be willing to accept any Floridians that are on board. My understanding is that most of the passengers are foreign nationals. I think that they're working on ways to deal with that."
Fox also reported the "ships were also denied permission to enter U.S. waters until a 'suitable plan' had been submitted to Broward's Unified Command, which includes members of the Coast Guard, the Broward County Sheriff's Office, Customs and Border Protection, Florida Department of Health officials and the management of Port Everglades, where the ships are likely hoping to dock."
By Wednesday evening, DeSantis told Fox Business host Neil Cavuto that Florida officials were "working on a plan" to get Florida residents off the ship and to expatriate foreign nationals, adding that local hospitals believe they can manage any sick individuals who disembark the ships.
As of Thursday morning, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine said there was a conditional plan in place to let passengers off the ship.
"Unified Command conferenced last night and reached cond. approval of Carnival's Plan, subject to approval between Broward and Carnival,"
Udine said on Twitter. "Final document will be released this morning. As of now, ships remain outside US Waters. Look forward to seeing a SAFE plan for all to resolve."
Holland America released a statement saying they are waiting for final clearance to disembark and are anchored outside U.S. waters near Fort Lauderdale.
"We remain fully engaged with the Broward Unified Command and other governmental and embassy authorities to resolve this humanitarian situation and get the nearly 1,200 well guests home immediately who are fit for travel per guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),"
Holland America said in its statement. "We appreciate the support of President Trump in resolving the humanitarian plight of our guests - 311 of whom are American citizens and 52 of whom are residents of Florida."