Nearly 150 sailors have tested positive onboard the ship docked in Guam; Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. As 93 of the nearly 5,000 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, have tested positive for the coronavirus, the Navy is removing nearly 3,000 sailors aboard the U.S. aircraft carrier by Friday. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly made it clear that while several thousand will leave the ship, other sailors will remain on board in order to continue to protect the ship and run critical systems. He also said the situation "won't be resolved in the next couple of days."
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Navy is evacuating thousands of sailors from the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in Guam after its captain warned a coronavirus outbreak was threatening the lives of the crew. There have been 93 COVID-19 cases discovered among the 4,800-strong Roosevelt crew so far, according to the U.S. Navy. Pentagon officials said Wednesday they were rapidly arranging hotel rooms on the Pacific island for many of the personnel, while organizing a skeleton team of uninfected sailors to keep the ship operational. "The plan at this time is to remove as many people off the Teddy Roosevelt as we can, understanding that we have to leave a certain amount of folks on-board to perform normal watch-standing duties that keep the ship running," Rear Adm. John Menoni, commander for the Marianas region, told reporters in Guam on Wednesday. Speaking in Washington, acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said that almost 1,000 of the crew had been removed, and that that number would rise to 2,700 within a couple days, and more after that.
Novel coronavirus outbreaks aboard three Navy warships have taught the military service valuable lessons that enabled it to respond quickly in late March when a sailor started displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the guided-missile destroyer Kidd, a vice admiral in charge of the Navy's surface force said last week. The Kidd was conducting counter-drug operations in the eastern Pacific near South America when a sailor began showing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on April 22. Less than a week later, the ship was moored at Naval Base San Diego, with 243 of its roughly 330 sailors evacuated from the vessel. Vice Adm. Richard Brown, commander of the Naval Surface Force Pacific in San Diego, said Friday that quick action by the Navy to bring the Kidd into port soon after its first case was reported likely prevented a broader outbreak among the crew. "This virus is insidious," Brown said during a conference call with reporters. "If we had left her out there, the entire crew would have got infected."
Thomas Modly resigns; Lucas Tomlinson has the details. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. The coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt, docked in Guam, has stoked anxieties on the island as hundreds of sailors enter its hotels for quarantine. An outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier started unfolding in late March and has plunged the Navy into a leadership crisis after Capt. Brett E. Crozier sent out a letter urging faster action to protect his sailors.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer has been relieved from duty by the Navy after raising alarm bells on a coronavirus outbreak on the ship; Jennifer Griffin reports from the Pentagon. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said he "had no discussions with anyone at the White House prior to making the decision" to relieve Capt. Navy sources had said that Modly told a colleague President Trump wanted Crozier fired. Modly told the Washington Post that he wanted to make the move before Trump ordered the captain out.