Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Versus the US Government’s Effort to Impose Vaccine Passports for Cruises

by | Jun 1, 2021


Florida has been the primary embarkation location in America for cruises. It is thus a big deal that Ron DeSantis, the state’s governor, is fighting against the United States government’s effort, undertaken via demands placed on cruise lines, to impose vaccine passport requirements for passengers boarding cruises leaving from Florida.

The US government’s effort is aimed at ensuring that all or nearly all cruise passengers show proof that they have taken experimental coronavirus vaccine shots in order to board ships in America. If DeSantis prevails in Florida, hopefully the US government’s vaccine passports scheme for cruises will fail across the country.

DeSantis is vowing to fine cruise lines, potentially up to 5,000 dollars per passenger, if cruise lines go through with plans to require passengers to show proof of vaccination in order to take trips on ships. The state government has the authority to levy such fines under a statute recently approved by the state legislature and signed into law by DeSantis in response to the threat posed by vaccine passports.

Cruise lines appear set to require all passengers 16 years old and older (with the age limit to drop in coming months) to show vaccination proof after the US government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) engaged in pressuring cruise lines to ensure 95 percent or more of passengers have taken experimental coronavirus vaccine shots. The US government is also pressuring cruise lines to require their employees to take shots of experimental coronavirus vaccines, some of which are not even vaccines under the normal meaning of the term.

US government pressure has previously kept cruise ships out of operation for months on end. This leaves cruise lines desperate to resume American operations and likely willing to accede to demands including the adoption of vaccine passport requirements as a precondition for permission to resume cruises.

Read more in Natalie Colarassi’s Saturday Newsweek article about DeSantis’s efforts, including both the threatened fines and a lawsuit against the CDC, to stand up against the US government’s push for vaccine passport requirements for cruises.

This is a big test for DeSantis. Will he follow through to enforce state law challenging US government efforts to impose vaccine passports, or will he fold under pressure? DeSantis has set a strong example that other governors have followed in rolling back coronavirus crackdown measures. Hopefully, DeSantis will continue to show the way to protecting people from vaccine passports and other new US government supported draconian restrictions.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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