The California Air National Guard had delivered 46 tests to the Grand Princess, which has been offshore since Wednesday. Of the 46 passengers tested, Pence said 21 people, 19 employees and two passengers, had tested positive. Twenty-four tested negative, and one was inconclusive, Pence said.
There are over 3,500 people on board the ship, which is anchored near San Francisco.
All passengers will be brought into port in the U.S. over the weekend and tested, said Pence, who is leading the Trump administration’s response to the outbreak.
“Those who need to be quarantined will be quarantined. Those who require additional medical attention will receive it,” he said. Officials said crew members are likely to be quarantined aboard the ship, while passengers could be quarantined at military bases.
Pence spoke shortly after President Donald Trump, touring Centers for Disease Control and Prevention headquarters in Atlanta, told reporters that he’d rather people be kept on the ship because otherwise they’ll add to the country’s coronavirus statistics.
“I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either, ok? It wasn’t their fault either and they’re mostly Americans,” Trump said. But, he added, he would abide by what Pence and his team of “great experts” decide.
“They would like to have the people come off. I’d rather have the people stay. But I’d go with them. I told them to make the final decision,” Trump said.
The ship off California was returning to San Francisco after visiting Hawaii. Some of the passengers remained on board after sailing on its previous voyage, to the Mexican ports of Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
“It’s important to note that the Grand Princess was actually on its second tour and we know of coronavirus infections from the first tour as well, with very, very difficult results,” Pence said.
Author: Dareh Gregorian