Idled Cruise Line’s Offer: Use Our Ships as Hospitals. Is That a Good Idea?


Critics mentioned that Mr. Trump’s thought could possibly be a manner for the corporate to carve out new income, camouflaged as a sunny public relations maneuver, with prices that might embody staffing and upkeep.

“It’s a way of generating income, so they can generate a million or two million in income. They’re not idiots,” mentioned Ross Klein, a sociologist at Memorial University of Newfoundland who research the cruise trade.

Mr. Klein mentioned that it was suspicious that the Trump administration wouldn’t look to different cruise firms world wide that may make a contract aggressive. Carnival, he mentioned, might dock off the American coasts as the beneficiary of pleasant loopholes within the tax code, which have allowed the corporate to pay nearly no company taxes.

“Why not put out a bid?” Mr. Klein mentioned. “Maybe there’s a foreign vessel that would come over here and do it cheaper.”

To assist alleviate the strain on hospitals, Mr. Trump on Wednesday promised that two Navy hospital ships could be deployed to the east and west coasts and “launched over the next week or so,” a declare that Mark T. Esper, the protection secretary, needed to rapidly stroll again, saying it might take at the very least a number of weeks.

Unlike the Carnival ships, the usN.S. Comfort, which is being ready in Norfolk, Va., is outfitted with a hospital-like format and geared for trauma care, with as many as 1,200 medical doctors, nurses and different medical specialists, who can use the ship’s dozen working rooms and radiological and laboratory assets. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York known as the usN.S. Comfort “literally a floating hospital.”

“The Navy hospital ships were purposefully altered to be floating hospitals,” mentioned Bryan McGrath, a nationwide safety marketing consultant and managing director of the FerryBridge Group. “Carnival cruise ships are built for a very different purpose, and I suspect a bit of a gimmick here in using them for this purpose in order to justify provision of economic relief to the cruise ship industry.”

Noah Weiland reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Tariro Mzezewa contributed reporting.

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