President Donald J. Trump said that Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison told him that Carnival’s cruise ships will be available if the government should need them amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“I spoke with Micky Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines and he is going to make ships available,” Trump said, in a White House press conference on Thursday. “So in addition to the big medical ships you have coming, if we should need ships with lots of rooms, they will be docked in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, different places.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is no stranger to chartering cruise ships for temporary housing, having done so following Hurricane Katrina, and hurricanes in 2017. Both times FEMA worked with Carnival.
Cruise ships could supply temporary housing for a quarantine facility, or serve as housing for medical or government workers, or in some cases, have been suggested as sites for surge hospital capacity.
Ships also provide a secure environment. Authorities would know who is on the ship at any time, and can restrict access and movements relatively easily, compared to a land-based site.
Carnival Corporation owns nine brands with approximately 105 ships across its fleet.