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Blocked by the White House CDC Order to hold cruise ships at berth

Dr. Stephen Ostroff, a former acting FDA commissioner who serves in the Healthy Sails group, said he recommended that cruise passengers be tested before arriving on the ship and then again before boarding.

“The only thing you want to make sure is that the virus doesn’t get there first,” Dr. Ostroff said.

Dr. Ostroff acknowledged that passengers who are exposed to the virus on the way to the ship do not necessarily have a negative test, but can be infectious. He also said the group’s other recommendations, such as allowing fewer passengers, imposing masks and installing improved air filtration systems, were aimed at curbing the spread of the virus on a ship in the event of an infected board. of passengers.

Brian Morgenstern, the White House’s deputy spokesman, denied that the administration’s plans for cruise ships were politically motivated. “The president, vice president and working group are following science and data to implement policies that protect public health and facilitate the safe opening of our country,” he said.

Dr. Redfield is in a precarious position after weeks of public confrontation with the White House.

On Friday, he told a colleague that he was concerned that Dr. Scott W. Atlas, one of Mr Trump’s best advisers on coronavirus, was providing misleading information to the president, according to an NBC reporter who overheard the phone call. of Dr. Redfield on a commercial aircraft.

The incident followed Mr Trump’s reprimand to the director earlier this month, after Dr Redfield testified during a Senate hearing that the vaccine would not be widely available until mid-next year and that the masks were perhaps even more -important of the vaccine to limit the spread of the virus. Later that day, Mr Trump told reporters he believed the director had “made a mistake”. The vaccine would go “to the general public immediately,” the president said, and “under no circumstances will it be as late as the doctor said.”

The CDC, led by Dr. Redfield, has received sharp criticism from scientists about its handling of the pandemic, beginning with the failed launch of test kits last spring. The New York Times reported this month that political appointees in the health department have followed the CDC’s guidelines – despite objections from the agency’s own scientists – saying that asymptomatic people should not be tested for coronavirus, even if they have close contact with an infected person. . The Agency then updated these guidelines to recommend testing, in line with public health experts.

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