Carnival CEO responds to global pandemic: 'Cruise ships are not a source for coronavirus'

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The CEO of Carnival Corporation says the company did not put passengers in danger amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

During the early days of the worldwide outbreak, multiple reports surfaced of passengers and crew members getting sick on cruise ships. This resulted in multiple ships struggling to find ports that would allow them to dock in attempts to prevent the virus from spreading.

Carnival suspended all cruises for two months starting on March 12.

Carnival suspended all cruises for two months starting on March 12. (iStock)

Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp, recently defended the company's handling of the outbreak, USA Today reports. He reportedly insisted that Carnival's various cruise lines did not place passengers in "a risky environment."

"20/20 hindsight, could everyone have done something sooner? Perhaps," Donald said. "But it was an evolving, learning situation."

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Carnival suspended cruises for at least two months starting on March 12.

"Cruise ships are not a source for coronavirus. We have hundreds of cruise ships out there. Very few had cases on them," the CEO continued. "The one that had the most cases was very early on, when no one understood hardly anything."

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In regards to cruise ships and large crowds, he explained, "There's lots of natural social distancing. The ships are large. People are not always gathered and clumped together."

He went on to elaborate that he is "suggesting that a cruise ship is not a riskier environment," although people may perceive it that way.

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It was recently announced that Carnival Corp. would be using its ships as temporary hospitals to help out with the coronavirus pandemic. According to the company, the ships would be used to treat patients not sick with COVID-19, instead using the ships to treat other patients. This would help free up space in hospitals to treat patients suffering from the virus.