Disney heiress confused by company decision to reopen Florida parks as coronavirus cases soar – CNBC

Abigail Disney told CNBC on Thursday she doesn’t understand Walt Disney‘s decision to reopen its company theme parks in Florida, a state that’s seeing coronavirus cases soar.

“I’m not looking at the same information they’re looking at, but given what I do know … I’m confused about how they think they can possibly protect their guests and their employees,” the Disney heiress said on “Squawk Box.”

Disney, granddaughter of company co-founder Roy Disney, said that reopening the parks near Orlando puts employees in an especially difficult position. 

“I certainly know people who work there who are very uncomfortable, who have conditions like asthma and diabetes that put you at high risk, who are literally deciding whether they want to go back to work or buy food,” said Disney, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker who is CEO of production company Fork Films

Disney’s phased reopening of its theme parks in Florida began Saturday, with safety protocols such as a mandatory mask policy and temperature screening. Capacity restrictions also were implemented. 

Disney was among the first parks to close in Florida in mid-March as the nation’s Covid-19 outbreak accelerated. It was one of the last to reopen.

Last week, Disney parks chairman Josh D’Amaro told CNBC the company feels “really good” about the safety precautions it put in place. “There’s a lot of trust here, both from our cast members and our guests, and we’ve got a responsibility to deliver on that trust,” D’Amaro said. 

Asked whether she conveyed some of her concerns to the entertainment company’s leadership, the philanthropist and activist said, “The lines of communication are not robust.”

— CNBC’s Sarah Whitten contributed to this report. 

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