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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Wednesday, April 01, 2020

The U.S. Coast Guard is telling foreign-flagged cruise ships to be prepared to care for people with COVID-19 for an "indefinite period of time" at sea or to seek help from countries other than the U.S., citing a health care system that is being overwhelmed. ... The new medical requirements apply to any vessel carrying more than 50 people. It also singles out cruise ships that are registered in the Bahamas - referring to many of the ships owned by large cruise lines such as Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian.

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Foreign-flagged ships are the norm in the cruise industry. By registering ships in the Bahamas, Panama and other countries, cruise companies can avoid U.S. taxes as well as employment and environmental laws. But now, the Coast Guard is telling those companies that their ships should seek medical care in the countries where they are registered, rather than rely on the U.S.

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Messed up considering that the vast majority of people on most of those ships are Americans. I get that we are overwhelmed, but how do we turn away American citizens? And like Panama or the Bahamas will be able to do any better?

#1 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-04-01 08:12 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

How does this fit with the "law of the sea"?

#2 | Posted by contrecoup at 2020-04-01 08:16 PM | Reply

How does this fit with the "law of the sea"?

donald thought President Obama wrote that so he repealed it.

#3 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-04-01 08:24 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

Actually a pretty easy fix for this. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian all have their headquarters in Miami.

Bring them all there.

#4 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-04-01 08:39 PM | Reply

MODER8

"but how do we turn away American citizens? "

The same way we're turning them away right now. Shelter in place and self-isolation.

I agree that the cruise lines should seek a port in their flag country and follow the rules from there. Perhaps even spring for a chartered jet for the unfortunate American passengers most in need of urgent care. After that, it's "take a number, please," like everybody else.

#5 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-01 08:43 PM | Reply

the location of corporate headquarters is a separate issue from what the flagged country is. Carnival. RC and Norwegian are NOT flagged American ships.

#6 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-04-01 08:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

the location of corporate headquarters is a separate issue from what the flagged country is.

Certainly. It's a tax dodge. Does anyone other than the US Navy have American flagged ships?

#7 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-04-01 08:48 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#7 Washington Ferries.

#8 | Posted by bored at 2020-04-01 08:51 PM | Reply

If these cruise ships were islands, the US would try to bring them home.

A better option is to seize the cruise ships, offload the passengers and quickly convert them to hospital ships for the duration of the year.

It isn't like Americans could have taken a cruise on American flagged ships.

Maybe it is time to change flagging rules for passenger ships. Pay US taxes for US coast guard services, instead of more corporate free stuff/socialism for the rich.

#9 | Posted by bored at 2020-04-01 08:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

There should be tax laws that prevent these ships from such a transparent tax dodge.

#10 | Posted by rcade at 2020-04-01 09:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I can't think of any way to capture this other than to call it criminal. The key here is that it is taking advantage of these ships being in a sort of international limbo. You can't turn people away at a hospital if they're in critical need. But these people aren't in the United States. They are also foreign-flagged vessels, even though in practice they are owned and operated in the United States.

Late this afternoon Gov. DeSantis said he would allow the 49 Floridians to come off the ship. But not the others. That's great news for those 49 Floridians. Florida Congressman Vern Buchanan tweeted his appreciation, while noting that he contacted White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to help make this happen. But the decision just cast in higher relief how wrong this is.

There are about two hundred and fifty other Americans on the ship. What about them? This amounts to a natural disaster, which is inherently federal. Of course there are hundreds of other foreign nationals, mostly from Canada, the UK and other countries in Europe. The suggestion from the Coast Guard and Florida officials is that they should seek port and assistance in the country they're flagged under, which in this case means the Bahamas. That amounts to a sick joke. There's a certain just desert for the operators, who choose to flag their vessels in other countries and seek tax preference domicile abroad. But that's not something you can hold against the passengers.

This clearly requires a federal response. I'm not sure precisely what the solution is. All of these people would need to be quarantined. It's a big, dangerous, expensive task, much as it was for the other ship that eventually docked in Oakland. It's complicated. I'm sure it will involve a lot of resources. Maybe it can't be done immediately or quickly. But it's simply not okay for the state of Florida or the US federal government to say not our problem, which is what now appears to be happening.

Josh Marshall

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-01 09:07 PM | Reply

Personally I agree with the USCG. The cruise ship industry doesn't pay American taxes or hire American employees. I don't give a crap about them...but I do care about the passengers and crews.
We should bring all of them here to Florida and deal with the illnesses that are probably going to overwhelm our healthcare industry but morality requires it. When we lose morality, there is nothing left to care about.

#12 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:10 PM | Reply

We didn't want that ship full of Jews either.

#13 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 09:11 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"There should be tax laws that prevent these ships from such a transparent tax dodge."

Of course but our election laws allow political contributions from these vultures....blah, blah, blah. Either fix our election system or accept what is going on as normal.

#14 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:12 PM | Reply

I think the Cruise industry deserves this. It's a bummer for the passengers, but at this point wouldn't they have known the risks?

#15 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 09:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"We didn't want that ship full of Jews either."

Been thinking the same thing all day. SS St. Louis is a curse that we earned, we should never repeat our reaction to that ship.

#16 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:15 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I feel bad for the crews. Were they complicit in hurrying passengers off and on instead of dealing with the coronavirus? I say yes.

#17 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 09:16 PM | Reply

" It's a bummer for the passengers, but at this point wouldn't they have known the risks?"

I'm just not willing to go there. We need to remember we are human beings and so are they. Perhaps take all passengers ashore, deal with all of them appropriately but leave their ships at sea to rot.

#18 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:18 PM | Reply

"SS St. Louis is a curse that we earned"

So is a virus brought here by foreigners to which we have no immunity and no cure.

#19 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 09:19 PM | Reply

I get that we are overwhelmed, but how do we turn away American citizens?
#1 | POSTED BY MODER8

Sounds like an easy call if the commander and chief is an immoral narcissist.

#20 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-04-01 09:25 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Snoofy, what you say is true but we still need to retain our humanity. When we give that up the profiteers who own these ships win. I live right here in Ft. Lauderdale, where these ships want to come. Bring them in, deal with the problems in the smartest, safest ways we can. We don't want to be inhumane. At least, I know I don't want to be inhumane.
No, Florida loved their cruise industry, now is the time for us to step up and help the innocent people who depended on us to provide a safe vacation. Figure out the responsibility later, help the people now before any more die.
Does anyone disagree with that?
And trust me, I am actually slightly famous for my opposition to the greedy, leeches of the Cruise Industry. I have zero sympathy for the owners and managers but I have 100% sympathy for all the passengers and ALL of the crews.
This is something I have looked at for many years. I didn't predict nor want a situation like we have today and I dislike the Cruise Industry but I value every single life aboard those ships and we actually do need to bring them into port and deal with what we have to deal with. It's not going to be pleasant but we will retain our humanity by doing so.

#21 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Could the USCG commandeer the ship and bring onboard medical professionals? Do we have enough medical professionals for that? If so, is it worth it?

#22 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 09:30 PM | Reply

While bemoaning the plight of cruise ship passengers, we might also want to remember that
there are 4,000 U.S. American sailors aboard an aircraft carrier anchored off Guam who are begging the Pentagon for help because of an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard ship.

They don't get the luxury of private cabins.

#23 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-01 09:32 PM | Reply

"So is a virus brought here by foreigners to which we have no immunity and no cure."

It sucks but, yeah. Because we are human beings. We don't turn people away when we could help them because...we are human beings that care about other human beings. Nationality is truely a false construct. We are human beings. Everything else is meaningless, nationalistic bull ----.
There are 21 million people in Florida, there is tons of money in Florida. We can care for the people on those ships.
I'm here in Ft. Lauderdale where those ships are literally a couple miles away. Allowing them to come ashore will impact my life or my families life but that is still the right thing to do.
When we lose sight of that idea we are lost.

#24 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:34 PM | Reply

"we are human beings that care about other human beings."

Deplorables aren't.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 09:37 PM | Reply

It's a bummer for the passengers, but at this point wouldn't they have known the risks?
#15 | POSTED BY HORSTNGRABEN

At this point yes but March was the longest month ever. They probably didn't give the virus a second thought back on March 7th when the ship departed Buenos Aires on its voyage. Argentina had 8 confirmed cases of the virus and that same day is when the country recorded its first death from the virus. The US President was still saying things "No, I'm not concerned at all. No, we've done a great job with it" and "V.P. is doing a great job. The Fake News Media is doing everything possible to make us look bad. Sad!"

#26 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce at 2020-04-01 09:44 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#26 | Posted by johnny_hotsauce

NW

#27 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 09:52 PM | Reply

"Deplorables aren't."

#25 | POSTED BY SNOOFY

This isn't what you'd call a "political problem." It's a humanitarian problem caused by a political problem ~ primarily because we have a president who is always a day late and a dollar short ad infinitum.

#28 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-01 09:52 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

While bemoaning the plight of cruise ship passengers...
#23 | Posted by Twinpac

Agreed. But there is a thread for that. So many things going on.

#29 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 09:54 PM | Reply

The US should save the passengers and crew and send the bill to the country under which the ship flies its flag of convenience.

#30 | Posted by madscientist at 2020-04-01 09:55 PM | Reply

"Deplorables aren't."

I think I share a theory that quite a few of us "liberals" believe. It is, "if we just shake them hard enough they will wake up and see reality again."
They hate us for believing something like that right up until the day we do shake one of them hard enough.
On that day, they lose one member of their cult.
It's a hard, slow, slog. But we win by gaining one person at a time.
I hate criticizing but I do believe that we will eventually win, at least partially. We will never win completely but winning partially should still be considered a win.
And then I thought about discussing your use of the term "Deplorables," but then I remembered Hillary was totally right. She was elected but voter suppression in, coincidentally, the states where the states that gave Trump the ED, prevented her from gaining the Presidency.
I'll bet quite a few of you a1re still hanging on to the idea that it was a good idea for Trump to get to assume the Presidency whether or not the voters of America had chosen him.....Think about that......if you are capable....you really want a minority to overrule the majority?
Obviously, some smoke showed up at my house. I'm sort of digging it. I am so grateful right now for anything that can stop my mind from thinking about what is going on right now. I'll tell you this, I'm a far better writer, poster, typist when I'm stoned instead of drunk. But, voila! Being both is sort of Nirvana.

#31 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 09:55 PM | Reply

The US Government has known these ships were coming to FL for at least a week. I get sick and tired of seeing comparisons between Administrations but there is no way ever that President Obama would have turned this ship away with over 250 Americans on them.

As soon as the cruise company alerted the government of their plans, someone(s) should have been tasked with figuring out how best to do it. Period. We're watching rapid repurposing and bed constructions in multiple cities and states. The government could have commandeered some empty hotels, threw up tents of some football fields, take over space in a convention center, and then have the cruise company contract health officials to staff them and pay for it. Injecting these people into the existing local healthcare infrastructure should have been off the table or an absolute last resort. But there's been enough time to figure out a solution if an active one was ever even considered.

Democrats understand that in times of crisis government HAS to work. And that last line is the quintessential liberal ethos anyway: Millions of lives ARE at stake everyday, all interdependent upon our complete societal infrastructure that connects to and through every one of us. This is why government needs to be fully staffed with competent workers and staffs.

There are no alternatives when millions of lives are at stake. We know nothing in a crisis is ever going to work perfectly no matter how well prepared you are, but you go do the very best and be ready at a second to change course should it become necessary. The only goal is getting the job done.

Certain things may only come around once every 100 years but having people who've already anticipated unlikely events and prepared for them really becomes important in the moment - who the costs to maintain becomes less than rounding errors when adding up the eventual financial and human costs - even if it seemed frivolous or unnecessary before December.

There is still time to get these people safely off the ship. Just get it done.

#32 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-01 09:55 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

When we lose morality, there is nothing left to care about.

#12 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2020-04-01 09:10 PM | FLAG:

Amen, sister. Why even have a society if we're not going to care about the people in it?

#33 | Posted by cbob at 2020-04-01 09:59 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Danni, death cults don't jstop being death cults just because someone in the cult dies.

I hope you're right, but I really doubt it.

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 10:00 PM | Reply

Why even have a society if we're not going to care about the people in it?
#33 | POSTED BY CBOB

That's what the guns are for.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 10:01 PM | Reply

#31 | Posted by danni

danni. Heck, if a effing pandamic won't do it than you aint going to convince them. Sad that Americans who listened and believed Trump are at a higher risk of dying.

#36 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 10:02 PM | Reply

That's what the guns are for.
#35 | Posted by snoofy

My guns are for pheasant, rabbit, or deer (if I'm lucky). Or for home defense, I have two or three for that.

#37 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 10:05 PM | Reply

"home defense"

Shooting the leaves out of the gutters, shooting the ivy that's creeping up the chimney, that kind of thing? :)

#38 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 10:09 PM | Reply

"Figure out the responsibility later, help the people now before any more die.
Does anyone disagree with that?"

Your governor, for one.

#39 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 10:11 PM | Reply

Shooting the leaves out of the gutters, shooting the ivy that's creeping up the chimney, that kind of thing? :)

Well now your talking some tannerite! =D

#40 | Posted by horstngraben at 2020-04-01 10:17 PM | Reply

Sorry tony I meant to newsworthy your post, hit funny instead, damnable fat fingers!`

#41 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-04-01 10:33 PM | Reply

History will not be kind to the current president.

#42 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-04-01 10:34 PM | Reply

Womp womp.

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-01 10:39 PM | Reply

"History will not be kind to the current president."

Realize one thing. History will not be kind to the citizens who sat idly by watching it happen. SS St. Louis...etc.
I want to tell my grandchildren that we actually did the right thing, but hey, that's just me.

#44 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-01 10:40 PM | Reply

Apparently, we are now going to allow all of the passengers to come off the ships.

Danni must have been heard at the White House.

#45 | Posted by truthhurts at 2020-04-01 11:05 PM | Reply

Danni Polling data must have been heard at the White House.

#46 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-04-02 12:01 AM | Reply

LOL the tax Dodgers have gotten f*****.

#47 | Posted by Tor at 2020-04-02 02:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I'll never understand why anybody would take a vacation aboard one of those floating sardine cans.

They're shiny and romantic I guess but there always seems to be a "problem" lurking under all that glitz.

#48 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-04-02 07:51 AM | Reply

You are referring to "flags of convenience".

en.m.wikipedia.org

Each merchant ship is required by international law to be registered in a registry created by a country,[3] and a ship is subject to the laws of that country, which are used also if the ship is involved in a case under admiralty law. A ship's owners may elect to register a ship in a foreign country which enables it to avoid the regulations of the owners' country which may, for example, have stricter safety standards. They may also select a jurisdiction to reduce operating costs, bypassing laws that protect the wages and working conditions of mariners.

The modern practice of ships being registered in a foreign country began in the 1920s in the United States when shipowners seeking to serve alcohol to passengers during Prohibition registered their ships in Panama. Owners soon began to perceive advantages in terms of avoiding increased regulations and rising labor costs and continued to register their ships in Panama even after Prohibition ended.

#49 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2020-04-02 08:50 AM | Reply

Actually a pretty easy fix for this. Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian all have their headquarters in Miami.
Bring them all there.

#4 | POSTED BY REDIAL

Exactly. Seek help from flagged country must be a bad joke. Cruise ship flags means nothing in this crisis.

#50 | Posted by CrisisStills at 2020-04-02 10:10 AM | Reply

JH Christ!

What about American citizens?

Oh well, we deserve it.

#51 | Posted by fresno500 at 2020-04-02 01:25 PM | Reply

How long for them to reach their country of origin? Bahamas isnt far.

#52 | Posted by Petrous at 2020-04-02 01:52 PM | Reply

Yet another "c-c-conservative" idea biting people in the ass.

Although at this point if you're still willing to set foot on a cruise ship you kind of deserve what's coming.

#53 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-03 12:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

How long for them to reach their country of origin? Bahamas isnt far.

#52 | POSTED BY PETROUS

It's not their country of origin. I wonder how many of these are from US ports but fly foreign flags to ensure their executive bonuses and stock holder payouts every quarter.

It's funny the detriment of your toxic world view is smacking you in the ------- (--------- for when that gets moderated) and you're completely oblivious.

#54 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-03 12:46 AM | Reply

We should help them all but at the same time we should require that their flag is changed to American, then they will pay American taxes, hire Americans to work aboard. It shouldn't be optional because the poor folks aboard don't have a vote. We've allowed these opportunists to take advantage of American's good nature for far too long. I have compassion for the passengers and crews but none for the owners of those ships.

#55 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-03 10:02 AM | Reply

#53 and #55

Most cruises aren't that long so these people got on a cruise ship knowing darn well there was a pandemic going on. Heck it probably left port after the diamond princess thing so I don't even really have sympathy for the passengers. The crew yes they probably didn't have a choice but the passengers could have canceled their trip. I am currently watching to see if my Vegas trip will be canceled if it is I might lose out on a good hunk of change but that's the price I pay. Maybe they didn't want to lose out maybe they thought it won't happen to me but bottom line they chose to get on a cruise ship during a pandemic.

I recently read an article talking about assistance for college kids/parents some of the comments were saying screw them they went on spring break during the pandemic despite that only being less than 1% of college kids. Yet suddenly we have sympathy for a bunch of cruise life people?

As far as telling them to go to their flagged ports they want to make money off the US while not supporting the country? Why should they expect our support in return? Sadly under maritime law I'm pretty sure we have an obligation to assist so we should but it should be the bare minimum required.

#56 | Posted by TaoWarrior at 2020-04-03 10:23 AM | Reply

Most of these cruise ships were closer to other counties. That the whole point of taking these cruises. They dont usually stop at US ports as part of your cruise, except entry and departure.

Maritime law probably states the ship should be helped and go to the closest port. Not sail for a port of preference.

#57 | Posted by Petrous at 2020-04-03 10:44 AM | Reply

All the captain has to do is appreciate the greatness that is Trump and then Humpy would give them all a Medal of Honor and take them golfing.

#58 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-04-03 10:57 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

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