The nuclear carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt coronavirus disaster has gotten worse, as on Thursday more than 400 sailors tested positive for COVID-19. Alarmingly, one sailor was found unresponsive as the ship was docked at a naval base in Guam and immediately transported to a military intensive care unit at the base.
"The sailor tested positive for coronavirus on March 30 and was found unconscious Thursday, he has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the US Navy Hospital on Guam," a Navy statement said, according to CNN.
It's being described as the first hospitalization after the crisis aboard the ship caused the USS Roosevelt to divert its mission from the Western Pacific two weeks ago.
The Navy says at this point 97% of the ship's some 4,000+ crew members have been tested. "We've tested almost the whole crew now. We still have about 1,000 tests to report out," the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. John Hyten said during a Pentagon briefing Thursday. "But 3,170 tested negative, 416 tested positive, 187 of those were symptomatic, 229 were asymptomatic. We still have 1,164 pending results."
This means nearly ten percent of the crew is infected with COVID-19. "Sadly this morning we had our first hospitalization of the one sailor," Hyten added. "We're hoping that that sailor recovers, we are praying for him and his family and his shipmates."
"I think it's not a good idea to think the Teddy Roosevelt is a one-of-a-kind issue. We have too many ships at sea, we have too many deployed capabilities. There's 5,000 sailors on a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. To think it will never happen again is not a good way to plan. What we have to do is figure out how to plan in these kind of Covid environments," Hyten said of the unprecedented crisis aboard the vessel, which has taken the multi-billion dollar nuclear carrier essentially out of commission for the time being.
The crisis led to an embarrassing public controversy over the Navy's handling the outbreak. After the ship's captain penned a fiery letter demanding greater action from top brass, subsequently leaked to the media, the captain was relieved of command of the ship.
Capt. Brett Crozier, wrote an impassioned memo emailed to superiors on March 30 - which leaked to the press - describing an "accelerating" crisis as coronavirus swept through the ship. Crozier - who himself has contracted the virus - received a round of applause from crewmembers as he departed the ship.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly later resigned early this week over comments he made the ship's crew calling Crozier's actions "too stupid".
But here's the kicker: "Modly's trip to Guam cost the Defense Department an estimated $243,000, according to a Navy official," reports CNN.