President Trump said he has confidence in the cleanliness of
cruise ships that have been offered by Carnival Corp. to serve as hospitals for
His comments came during a White House press briefing on Friday
after a reporter asked if he worried that cruise ships have frequently
contacted surfaces that could carry the virus.
“I can tell you they’re very clean and also those surfaces,
the germs, you know, the virus disappears over a period of time,” he said. “And
the ships are very clean. They’ve been kept very clean. They’ve been gone
Carnival said on Thursday that it would make available
select ships from its brands -- including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America
Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia -- to be used as temporary
hospitals for non-coronavirus patients to free up space for land-based
hospitals to treat those with the virus.
Trump has already ordered two Navy hospital ships to be
deployed, one to New York and one somewhere on the West Coast.
Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison personally
extended the offer, Trump said.
“He said If we need ships for helping people, that Carnival
would be absolutely willing to help us in Los Angeles, in New York, wherever it
may be, in Miami where they are very big,” Trump said. “If we needed something,
they would be willing to. So far, we haven’t need to.”
The reputation of the cruise industry has come under attack
as a few ships have had passengers or crew members test positive for
coronavirus. In many instances, those ships were left to drift at sea as ports
turned them away for fear of taking in infected people. Some cruise ships, many
of them without any coronavirus-infected people, are still searching for ports
to disembark. These ships were already at sea when the industry agreed last
week to pause operations for 30 days.
Cruise industry executives have said they follow strict
protocols to clean and sanitize ships during and after every sailing.