May 01, 2020

Committee Leaders DeFazio and Maloney Send Records Request to Carnival Cruise Lines Regarding its Health and Safety Practices Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) initiated a records request regarding the response of the Carnival Corporation, and its nine affiliated cruise lines, to the coronavirus pandemic. The Chairs sent letters requesting relevant documents to the Carnival Corporation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Coast Guard. Among other items, DeFazio and Maloney want information about decisions the company made regarding the health and safety of its passengers and crew amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including a copy of the company’s fleetwide Outbreak Prevention and Response Plans in effect starting January 1, 2020.

In the letter to Carnival’s President and CEO, DeFazio and Maloney expressed concerns Carnival is failing to appropriately acknowledge public health concerns in its public-facing materials, writing, “While cruises are often viewed as a care-free escape from reality where passengers can dine, dance, relax, and mingle, we would hope that the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic will place a renewed emphasis on public health and passenger safety, but frankly that has not been seen up to this point. In fact, it seems as though Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represents 109 cruise ships, is still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignoring the public health threat posed by coronavirus to potential future passengers and crew.”

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has broad jurisdiction over maritime transportation issues, including those issues related to passenger vessels and various international treaties, including the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).

The full letter to the Carnival Corporation can be found here.

Additionally, Chairs DeFazio and Maloney sent records requests to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Coast Guard for their respective correspondence with Carnival about these matters. Those letters can be found here and here.