A sailor who tested positive for coronavirus on board USS Theodore Roosevelt has died.
The unidentified sailor had tested positive for the virus on March 30 and was taken off the ship and moved into isolation accommodation with four others.
On Thursday he was found unresponsive during a medical check and sailors who found him attempted CPR before he was moved to a local hospital’s intensive care unit.
‘Over the weekend, four additional Theodore Roosevelt Sailors were admitted to the hospital for monitoring. All are in stable condition, none are in ICU or on ventilators,’ a Navy official said.
The death comes after it was revealed Captain Brett Crozier knew he could face firing for breaking protocol and sending a memo urging the Navy to respond more quickly to an outbreak on the ship.
A sailor who tested positive for coronavirus on board USS Theodore Roosevelt has died. The unidentified sailor was admitted into intensive care on Thursday
Former USS Theodore Roosevelt Captain Brett Crozier reportedly knew he’d be fired when he broke protocol on March 30 and sent a memo urging the Navy to respond more quickly to a coronavirus outbreak onboard, but he’d reached ‘breaking point’ and feared for the lives of his crew members. A doctor had warned 50 people could die on the ship
But he went ahead after a doctor warned 50 crew could lose their lives if something wasn’t done.
Nearly 600 sailors on the aircraft carrier, docked in Guam, have now tested positive for COVID-19. About 92 percent of people on the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been tested.
Nearly 80 percent of the ship’s crew of 4,000 have been evacuated from the ship and locals in Guam have become worried that their presence in 10 hotels could cause a massive outbreak in the area. People mostly are sympathetic because many in Guam are in the Navy or have relatives who are.
Not including the sailors, Guam has 133 confirmed coronavirus cases and five deaths as of Saturday.
‘I know there will be a small chorus of cynics who will oppose this decision, but now is not the time for “us versus them,”‘ Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero told reporters April 1. ‘We can protect Guam while being humane to them.’
Guam’s hotels frequently host military members, and the Department of Defense controls about a third of the island, which is 3,800 miles (6,115 kilometers) west of Honolulu and a crucial, strategic hub for U.S. forces in the Pacific.
Some residents are urging the governor to reconsider allowing the sailors to stay in hotels, including I Hagan Famalaoan Guahan, a group that supports women who are Chamorro, the indigenous people of the Mariana Islands, which include Guam.
‘Being negative today doesn’t mean that they won’t be in a week or so,’ the group said in a statement. ‘The decision to house them in the middle of our community is playing a game of chance with the health of our people.’
It’s believed sailors aboard the Roosevelt picked up the virus during a port call in Da Nang, Vietnam on March 5.
A man, who identified himself as a crew member, exercises out on the balcony of a room at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, in Tumon, Guam on Thursday
Only Navy personnel are interacting with the crew in quarantine in order to protect hotel staff. In this April 7 photo released by the U.S. Navy, sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt move ready to eat meals for sailors who have tested negative for COVID-19 and are being taken to local hotels
The quarantine measures come with a huge shake-up in the Navy.
After four consecutive days of rebuttals from his superiors, on March 30, Crozier took matters into his own hands and composed an unclassified email to 20 Navy personnel in the Pacific, disclosing the desperate situation on board and asking for their help.
Insisting in the message that ‘Sailors don’t need to die’, friends of Crozier told the New York Times the 30-year veteran would have known sending the email would likely end his career, but he persevered regardless.
Crozier was controversially fired by acting Navy secretary Thomas B. Modly after the email leaked.
Modly, meanwhile, has resigned as acting secretary. According to officials, he decided to oust the captain because he thought it was what President Trump would want.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is seen while entering into the port in Da Nang, Vietnam, March 5. It’s believed this is where the first infection occurred
Officials told the Times Modly was hoping to avoid a confrontation with the Commander in Chief and avoid the same fate of his predecessor, but the self-serving motion was miscalculated and he was forced to step down.
The Navy has conducted an investigation into the incident, the results of which are expected to be released sometime this week.
Crozier was first made aware of an outbreak aboard the Roosevelt on March 24, when three sailors in the reactor department – operating the ship’s nuclear reactors – tested positive for the virus.
The three men were extracted from the ship by helicopter and flown to a Navy hospital in Guam. Two days later the ship docked in Guam and tests were conducted on the entire crew.
It was during this time that Crozier began feuding with his superior on board the ship, Rear Admiral Stuart P. Baker.
Crozier was controversially fired by acting Navy secretary Thomas B. Modly (pictured) after the email leaked. Modly, meanwhile, has resigned after receiving blowback about his actions
In this photo taken April 7 2020, provided by the U.S. Navy, sailors and staff assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt listen as Vice Adm. William Merz, commander of the U.S. 7th Fleet, answers questions during a visit to the ship at Naval Base Guam
Crozier believed it was necessary to evacuate the majority of those onboard, except for 400 members of the crew, quarantine them and have them tested while the ship was subject to a deep-clean.
But Baker disagreed, and back in Washington Modly and other members of the Navy high command sought alternative options. Baker believed an evacuation was too drastic and Modly expressed concern that Guam could not house the carrier’s crew even if they did.
Instead, the Navy suggested sending the Roosevelt to Okinawa, Japan, or San Diego instead. They also suggested leaving 4,000 on board the ship and allowing 1000 to disembark.
While his superiors meandered, COVID-19 cases aboard the ship continued to increase and Captain Crozier began composing a four-page letter to sent via email.
Titled ‘REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC’, Crozier wrote: ‘There are two end states T.R. could achieve…We go to war with the force we have and fight sick,’ in which case he said ‘there will be losses to the virus.’
Alternatively, the Times reported, Crozier suggested the ship could try to ‘achieve a COVID-free T.R.,’ with all the necessary evacuation.
‘As war is not imminent, we recommend pursuing the peace time end state,’ Captain Crozier wrote.
The captain showed the letter to a number of senior officers on the ship, who asked to sign the letter in solidarity with him. However, the captain declined, fearing the implication it could have on their careers.
The following day, on March 31, Crozier’s letter was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, having likely been leaked by one of the email’s 20 recipients. Crozier’s letter contradicted the Trump administration’s claims that the situation aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt was under control.
‘It’s disappointing to have him say that,’ Modly said during a press conference on April 1. ‘We’re doing everything we can.’