The committee, which claims to have jurisdiction over shipping matters, made these requests in letters sent to Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, the US Coast Guard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calling the cruise ships ” fertile ground for infectious diseases. “
“We hope that the reality of the Covid-19 pandemic will put renewed emphasis on public health and passenger safety, but frankly, this has not been seen so far,” the letter said. “It appears that Carnival Corporation and its portfolio of nine cruise lines, which represent 109 cruise ships, are still trying to sell this cruise line fantasy and ignore the threat to public health. “
Carnival officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The letter is signed by Peter DeFazio, the Oregon Democrat who chairs the committee, and Sean Maloney, the New York Democrat and chair of the Shipping Subcommittee. Members of Congress requested a series of documents from the company, including all documents referring to the coronavirus.
While the entire cruise industry has been shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, Carnival, the world’s largest cruise company, has been at the center of several high-level epidemics on its ships. His Diamond Princess was quarantined at a Japanese port during one of the first major epidemics outside of China, where the virus emerged in December.
Carnival Corp’s 109-ship fleet has experienced an unusually high number of outbreaks, the letter said. The letter adds that at least nine Carnival-owned ships have reported outbreaks of Covid-19, which have infected more than 1,500 people and killed at least 39 people.
“Our committee, the United States Congress and the American public must be assured that the global cruise industry, and Carnival Corporation & PLC in particular, are taking the necessary steps to ensure that the safety of the traveling public and crew members will be your number one priority when your ships leave. “
Carnival shares fell more than 11% on Friday. The company’s shares have declined more than 70% since January 1.
In an interview with CNBC on April 14, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald said he had high hopes for how the industry will rebound after the coronavirus pandemic.
“The trip will come back, the trips and the hobbies, and when it does, we will come back with it. The social gathering will come back at some point, and when it does, people will want to go on a cruise, “he said on CNBC’s” Closing Bell “. . ”