Coronavirus cases on USS Theodore Roosevelt surge to almost 600

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases on board the US Navy’s Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) has neared the 600-mark, the navy revealed.

As of April 12, 92 percent of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers had been tested for COVID-19, with 585 positive and 3,724 negative results, navy officials said.

Additionally, 3,967 sailors or almost 90 percent of the ship’s crew, have been moved ashore in Guam, where the vessel is currently docked. The evacuated sailors are put in 14-day quarantines.

Theodore Roosevelt is currently on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific and pulled in to Guam on March 27.

Initially, three coronavirus cases were discovered on board the carrier on March 24. Over the next few days, the number of confirmed cases rapidly surged.

Due to the coronavirus concerns, commanding officer Capt. Brett Crozier wrote a letter on March 30 in which he urged the navy to engage more in preventing the spread of the pandemic aboard the vessel and protecting the lives of sailors. In early April, the navy relieved Crozier of command after his letter leaked to the media.

Crozier’s removal has been widely criticized and a petition was started at Change.org, urging the US Navy to reinstate the former commander. As of April 13, more than 353,000 people have signed the petition.

Thomas Modly, the former Acting Secretary of the US Navy who fired Crozier, gave a speech to the crew of Theodore Roosevelt in which he called the ousted commander “naive and stupid”. Following the incident, Modly resigned on April 7.

The navy launched an investigation into the actions surrounding USS Theodore Roosevelt and the removed captain.

Naval Today Staff

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