Over 700 crew members from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is the fourth Nimitz-class nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the US Navy, have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday, April 21.
US Navy said that 94 percent of the crew has been tested and at least 3,872 crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt tested negative for the novel Coronavirus, while nine sailors have been taken to hospital after they developed symptoms for COVID-19. The aircraft carrier is docked in Guam now.
USS Theodore Roosevelt Coronavirus
As per CNN, the US Navy and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have launched an investigation into the Coronavirus outbreak aboard the carrier. It should be noted that a sailor aboard the aircraft carrier died of COVID-19 related complications earlier this month.
The investigation will be conducted to establish the origin of the Coronavirus outbreak and understand how it spread rapidly on board the ship. Roosevelt's commander Capt Brett Crozier was fired earlier this month for what then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said poor judgment for too widely circulating a warning about the spread of virus aboard his vessel.
Rear Adm Bruce Gillingham, the US Navy surgeon general, said on Friday, April 17: "This is a stealthy virus in many ways and this outbreak investigation is an important medical weapon to understand its behavior so that we can better protect the crew, their shipmates on other vessels and ultimately the nation."
Crozier was widely supported by his crew and when he left the ship on April 3, hundreds of the crew members cheered him and chanted his name, revealed videos posted to social media platforms.
Fate of fired Theodore Roosevelt captain
It should be noted that as per the recent reports the US Navy will announce the investigation finding of how a letter from the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, describing a COVID-19 outbreak on the ship was leaked to media. The letter included warnings related to dire consequences if the Navy did not evacuate thousands of Roosevelt sailors. It was first published by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Modly said the dissemination of the letter showed "extremely poor judgment" on Crozier's part in the middle of a crisis. A few days later, he went to the western Pacific island and in a profanity-laced speech over the Roosevelt's public address system, said the commander captain Crozier was naive and stupid if he believed his letter wouldn't be leaked. But after the audio of that speech also got leaked, Modly gave his resignation on April 7.
However, as per a Navy official, the chief of naval operations and the service's top officer, Admiral Mike Gilday, will announce the investigation findings about the leaked letter as early as Wednesday at the Pentagon.
The US Navy announced the first known cases of novel Coronavirus on board on March 24, almost two weeks after the ship visited Vietnam after its routine deployment in January. Two days later, the number of affected sailors on board had increased rapidly and the ship had to be pulled into Guam.