Slate’s daily news podcast “What Next” spoke with Bloomberg Businessweek about Carnival’s allegedly negligent mishandling of the deadly Coronavirus outbreaks that occurred on their Diamond Princess and Grand Princess cruise line ships.
In February, the Diamond Princess ship held more confirmed Covid-19 cases than any entire country outside of China, while in early March, Carnival’s Grand Princess became a fixture on cable news and social media as scared passengers livestreamed the panic taking place aboard the ship after dozens of crew members and passengers began testing positive for the virus.
BusinessWeek’s correspondent noted that “in both cases, the company failed to act in a timely manner as the virus spread on board,” which resulted in the infection of hundreds and the deaths of several passengers. Much of the related news coverage focused on the inconsistencies between information presented by the CDC and Carnival’s claims that their ships were safe, and no different than any other kind of public setting with respect to the spread of the virus.
BusinessWeek noted that these claims of safety were highly questionable “A CDC report that said there is a high risk of infection aboard these ships,” noted the reporter, “but when I asked Carnival CEO Arnold Donald about that, he essentially said the CDC conclusions were wrong. He said this has nothing to do with cruise ships, and that COVID-19 spreads the same there as it does in an airport terminal, a subway station, a restaurant, a theater, or a stadium.”
Subsequent developments would reveal that the closed environments of cruise ships contributed significantly to the rapid onboard spread of the virus, which posed elevated risks for the elderly who make up a disproportionally large component of cruise passengers.
You can read the full discussion on the Slate website.