- A US Navy sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of coronavirus-related complications, the Navy announced Monday morning.
- The sailor tested positive on March 30, was hospitalized on April 9, and died on Monday.
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A US Navy sailor assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt died Monday from novel coronavirus-related complications, the Navy announced in a statement.
The sailor, who tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday, March 30, was taken to the US Naval Hospital Guam on April 9 and placed in an intensive care unit.
Immediately prior to hospitalisation, the sailor had been found unresponsive in isolation during the daily medical check, and CPR was administered by fellow sailors and medical personnel.
“The entire Department is deeply saddened by the loss of our first active duty member to COVID-19,” Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said in a statement Monday.
“Our thoughts are with the family of the USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor who lost his battle with the virus today,” he added. “We remain committed to protecting our personnel and their families while continuing to assist in defeating this outbreak.”
The Navy announced the first three coronavirus cases aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt on March 24. The outbreak sidelines the port in Guam, where nearly 4,000 sailors have since been evacuated.
As of Sunday, the number of sailors who had tested positive for the coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was 585.
Reportedly among the positive cases is the carrier’s former commanding officer Capt. Brett Crozier, who was relieved of command after a letter he wrote raising alarms about a coronavirus outbreak onboard leaked to the media.
The same day the deceased sailor tested positive, Crozier sent out a letter warning that “the spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.” In his plea, he called on the Navy to take decisive action and evacuate the overwhelming majority of the crew. “Sailors do not need to die,” he wrote, adding the Navy does not act, “there will be losses.”
“If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset – our Sailors,” the ship’s captain wrote in the letter that cost him his command.
The name of the sailor who died is being withheld pending notification of next-of-kin.
Monday’s death marks the second coronavirus-related death of a US service member. A New Jersey National Guard soldier who had been hospitalized since March 21 died on March 30.
This post has been updated with the SECDEF’s comments.