Carnival execs reportedly let ships set sail despite knowing coronavirus threat

Carnival execs reportedly let ships set sail despite knowing coronavirus threat

Executives at Carnival Cruise Lines were aware of the potential danger that the coronavirus posed to passengers and crew but let ships set sail anyway, an explosive new report alleges.

The beleaguered cruise company, which has seen more than 1,500 positive diagnoses and 39 deaths on its fleet of ships, ignored warnings and didn’t take proper safety precautions until it was too late, according to Bloomberg.

On the Grand Princess, which received notice on March 4 that the Center for Disease Control was “investigating a small cluster” of cases in California that were linked to the ship, passengers were still treated to live shows, crowded buffets and all the shopping and amenities the ship had to offer.

The next day, when a shelter-in-place was ordered by the ship’s captain, passengers rushed to shop and hit the buffet before returning to their rooms.

Executives including CEO Arnold Donald knew about the virus’ spread in China as early as January, when Carnival’s innovation chief John Padgett was in touch with a manufacturer in Wuhan — the epicenter of China’s virus problem, according to the Thursday report.

“The biggest thing about that — it’s a learning I don’t think I’ll ever forget, and we shared it with Arnold when we were talking — is that we actually had insight into the global situation much earlier than most,” he said.

CEO Donald defended Carnival’s response to what he described as a “generational global event,” arguing that it is no different from national and local governments that were slow to react to the growing pandemic. He claimed that Carnival’s ships are not inherently more dangerous than airports, restaurants or stadiums.

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