- The Navy reported Friday that it has moved 3,155 sailors off the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
- The carrier, which is crewed by roughly 4,800 sailors, is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak that has seen 447 sailors test positive.
- While the Navy has moved thousands of sailors off the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy has made it clear that it does not plan to remove all of the ship’s crew, some of whom are needed to maintain the ship’s two nuclear reactors and guard its arsenal and access points.
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The US Navy revealed Friday that it has moved roughly two-thirds of the sailors on the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt off the ship in Guam.
The service first reported cases aboard the carrier on March 24, revealing that three sailors had tested positive for the coronavirus. Since then, a total of 447 sailors have tested positive. One infected sailor has been hospitalized and is in intensive care after he was found unresponsive.
The Navy said Friday that 3,155 of the 4,800 sailors on board the carrier have been taken ashore in Guam, where the ship is in port as the Navy handles the outbreak.
Sailors began moving ashore shortly after the USS Theodore Roosevelt pulled into port in Guam, but getting sailors off the ship has been a slow process.
On of April 1, then-acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said that the aim was to have 2,700 sailors off “in the next couple of days.” The Navy achieved that a little later than expected on April 9.
On April 2, Modly, who resigned this past Tuesday, removed Capt. Brett Crozier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s commanding officer, after his letter urging the Navy to take decisive action and quickly evacuate the carrier’s crew leaked to the media.
“The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating,” Crozier wrote in his letter. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset – our Sailors.”
Crozier is reportedly among those who have tested positive for the virus.
There have been calls for the captain to be reinstated, and the Navy and the Pentagon have not ruled out that possibility, telling reporters that nothing is off the table.
While the Navy has moved thousands of sailors off the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the Navy has made it clear that it does not plan to remove all of the sailors from the ship.
Service leaders have repeatedly stressed that it is necessary to keep some crew members aboard the ship to maintain and operate critical systems.