coronavirus

Sailor Aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt Dies of Coronavirus Complications: US Navy

The U.S. Navy Sailor had been in intensive care since April 9, according to authorities

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A U.S. Navy Sailor aboard aircraft-carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of coronavirus-related complications on Monday after he spent days in intensive care, according to the Navy.

The service member tested positive for COVID-19 on March 30 and was placed in isolation on Naval Base Guam. He was receiving medical checks twice a day when his health deteriorated and he was found unresponsive on April 9.

USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam on March 27 during a scheduled port visit for supplies and crew rest. The Navy said the sailor was admitted to the intensive care unit of U.S. Naval Hospital Guam that same day and remained hospitalized until his death.

Authorities have not released the name of the sailor pending notification of his family.

Over the weekend, four additional Roosevelt crew members were admitted to the hospital for monitoring of coronavirus symptoms, the Navy said.

One of the four hospitalized sailors is currently in the ICU "for increased observation due to shortness of breath," according to a Navy statement.

Nearly 600 sailors aboard the vessel have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. As of Sunday, there were 585 positive and 3,724 negative test results, according to the Navy. The ship has roughly 5,000 crew members.

The ship's outbreak was made to light after Capt. Brett Crozier sent a memo to Navy leaders pleading for permission to isolate the bulk of his crew on shore.

“We are not at war. 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 said in a memo. He was relieved from his duties on April 2.

President Donald Trump initially criticized Crozier for writing the letter but later said he didn't want Crozier's career ruined over a single mistake.

Navy officials have not ruled out the possibility of Crozier being reinstated.

Former Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on April 7 following a trip to Guam, where he delivered a speech saying Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid" to be in charge of an aircraft carrier.

Pentagon leaders anticipate that the coronavirus may strike more Navy ships at sea.

Last Thursday, Air Force Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that ships with large numbers of sailors aboard operating in close quarters are vulnerable to an outbreak, although the Roosevelt is the only one so far to have reported coronavirus cases while deployed at sea.

“It’s not a good idea to think that the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue,” Hyten told a Pentagon news conference. “We have too many ships at sea. ... To think that it will never happen again is not a good way to plan.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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