Dr Stephen Ostroff, a former interim commissioner of the F.D.A., who is part of the Healthy Sail group, said he recommended that cruise passengers be tested before arriving on the ship and then again before boarding.
“The only thing you want to be sure about is that the virus doesn’t spread there in the first place,” said Dr. Ostroff.
Dr Ostroff acknowledged that passengers exposed to the virus en route to the ship wouldn’t necessarily test negative, but they could be contagious. He also said that the group’s other recommendations, such as allowing fewer passengers, requiring the use of masks and installing improved air filtration systems, are aimed at limiting the spread of the virus on a ship in the event of a boarding of an infected passenger.
Dr. Redfield is in a precarious position after weeks of public clashes with the White House.
He told a colleague on Friday that he was concerned that Dr. Scott W. Atlas, one of Trump’s top coronavirus advisers, was giving the president misleading information, according to an NBC reporter who overheard Dr. Redfield’s phone conversation on a plane. commercial.
The incident followed Trump’s reprimand from the director earlier this month after Dr. Redfield testified in a Senate hearing that a vaccine would not be widely available until mid-next year and that the masks they were perhaps even more important than a vaccine to curb. the spread of the virus. Mr. Trump told reporters later that day that he believed the director had “made a mistake”. A vaccine would go “to the general public immediately”, the president said, and “under no circumstances will it be as late as the doctor said.”
The C.D.C. under the leadership of Dr Redfield it has received sharp criticism from scientists about its handling of the pandemic, starting with the failed launch of the test kits last spring. This month, the New York Times reported that health department policymakers had passed the C.D.C. guidelines – despite objections from the agency’s own scientists – stating that people without symptoms did not need to be tested for coronavirus, even if they had close contact with an infected person. The agency then updated these guidelines to recommend testing, in line with public health experts.