Rep. Ilhan Omar Demands Commitments from Carnival Corporation on Zandaam Cruise Line

March 30, 2020
Press Release

MINNEAPOLIS—Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) released the following statement after speaking with Holland America parent company Carnival Corporation & PLC about steps to provide medical care to passengers on board the Holland America cruise ship MS Zandaam. On Friday, four passengers were reported dead on the cruise ship. 138 have reported flu-like symptoms and two have now tested positive for COVID-19. There are at least six Minnesotans on Zandaam—four of whom are ill. 
 
“Holland America had clear signs that COVID-19 presented severe and unique risks before the Zaandam embarked on this cruise—and they are responsible for getting all passengers medical care immediately,” Rep. Omar said. “Over the weekend, I spoke with Carnival Cruise Line’s VP of Public Affairs. We asked and received a commitment that all internet & phone fees on board would be waived, that Holland America will ensure all passengers receive medical treatment on board as well as after they disembark, and that Holland America will ensure everyone gets home without any additional expense. We are also making sure the ship’s workers are protected and receive the care they need. We will hold them to these commitments.”
 
“I’m also calling on Florida officials to ensure the ship can safely dock and disembark passengers before any other needless deaths occur. This can be done in a manner that protects the health and safety of the workers, passengers, and local community.  My office and I have been in regular contact with our constituents on board the cruise line—who fear for their health and safety. I have also been working with the U.S. State Department and my colleagues on the House Committee of Foreign Affairs in order to find the ship a port to disembark.
 
“I will continue to demand full accountability and fight to prioritize the workers and passengers whose health is at risk.”