The commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is warning Navy leadership that swift action is necessary after more than 90 sailors came down with the coronavirus, and the Navy in response will move 2,700 off the ship temporarily, according to reports.
CNN reports that Capt. Brett Crozier wrote in a memo to U.S. Pacific Fleet that “we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.”
He added the the spread of COVID-19 on the ship is “ongoing and accelerating,” according to the report.
Crozier advocated for removing the majority of personnel from the carrier and isolating them for two weeks. There are currently around 5,000 men and women aboard the vessel. He acknowledged that such an action would be “extraordinary” but added it is “a necessary risk.”
ABC News reports that 2,700 sailors will be moved off the ship and onto land in Guam.
Despite the outbreak, Navy leadership says that no sailors have been hospitalized or are on ventilators.
A week prior, just three sailors had been confirmed positive for COVID-19, and that number increased to 25 two days later. The fact that it is nearly 100 now underscores the rapid spread of the virus.
In an updated posted to the ship’s official Facebook page, Crozier wrote that the ship is currently off the coast of Guam and working to lower the spread of the virus.
“The TR Team is working with the great folks at Naval Base Guam to get Sailors off the ship and into facilities on base to help spread the crew out,” he wrote. “We have also gotten our Wi-Fi set up on the pier, giving your Sailors the ability to get outside, stretch their legs, and contact their loved ones. It’s an all-hands, all-day effort, but your Sailors are doing what is required to keep them and the ship as healthy, clean, and sanitized as possible. Your Sailors are in good spirits and are facing this new challenge with a level of professionalism that I have come to expect from such an amazing and resilient team.”
MAIN PHOTO: PHILIPPINE SEA (March 18, 2020) An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), March 18, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Nicholas V. Huynh/Released)