5 Sailors on USS Theodore Roosevelt Reinfected With COVID-19

Naval Base Guam – Eighteen sailors are in quarantine and five sailors have tested positive for COVID-19 for the second time. All affected sailors were removed from the USS Theodore Roosevelt and placed into quarantine or treatment.

The resurgence of the virus in the five sailors underscores how highly contagious the coronavirus actually is. All five sailors had recovered and test negative twice in a row before returning to the ship.

Hospitalman Ming Ho
DEDEDO, Guam (May 14, 2020) Hospitalman Ming Ho, assigned to Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) Camp Pendleton, looks through a microscope in the lab during a training exercise at the EMF onboard Naval Base Guam. The EMF will provide expanded medical capabilities in support of DoD’s COVID-19 response and will enable forces to be postured to support Guam and the region if a Defense Support of Civil Authorities mission is requested. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Julio Rivera/Released)

Late in March, the USS Theodore Roosevelt was pulled from its scheduled deployment in the Indo-Pacific and docked at the Guam Naval Base. Currently, 1,102 sailors have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to that, 4,000 of the 4,800 crew members were placed into quarantine or isolation.

Earlier this month hundreds of sailors began returning to the ship, in coordinated waves, to get ready to set sail again. However, on Friday the five Sailors developed influenza-like illness symptoms.

GUAM (May 14, 2020) Boatwain's Mate 3rd Class Mason Valtrakis
NAVAL BASE GUAM (May 14, 2020) Boatwain’s Mate 3rd Class Mason Valtrakis, from San Diego, relays messages between the navigation bridge and aft steering during a drill aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), May 14, 2020. Theodore Roosevelt’s COVID-negative crew returned from quarantine beginning on April 29 and is making preparations to return to sea to continue their scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Julian Davis/Released)

As of Thursday, more than 2,900 sailors have reboarded the aircraft carrier. The Navy reported about 25% of the more than 1,000 who had tested positive has now recovered.

Related USS Theodore Roosevelt News

The former commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Capt. Brett Crozier, has been reassigned to San Diego. He will serve in a temporary capacity as the special assistant to the Naval Air Forces chief of staff.

Feb. 18, 2020 Capt. Brett Crozier
PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb. 18, 2020) Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), instructs Information Systems Technician 3rd Class Eden Betzler, from Princeton, Minn., assigned to the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, on how to steer the ship after she was recognized as Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Rider of the Week,” Feb. 18, 2020. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group is on a scheduled deployment to the Indo-Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Pyoung K. Yi/Released)

Crozier was relieved of his command in early April. He wrote a warning letter about the coronavirus outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier to his chain of command. The letter leaked to the press causing a scandal for the Trump administration.

Following a preliminary inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the leak, Navy leaders recommended reinstating Crozier. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper then ordered the Navy to perform a deeper investigation. That review is ongoing and Gilday is expected to submit his findings on May 27.

But Wait There’s More

With an aircraft carrier and destroyer sidelined by novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks, Defense Secretary Mark Esper took to social media on Wednesday to tout the U.S. military’s naval supremacy in the face of the global pandemic.

But there’s a big problem: to illustrate America’s naval power, Esper (or his public affairs officers) opted for a photo of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is currently laid up in Guam with 1,102 positive cases and 5 reoccurring cases of COVID-19.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt is less the symbol of U.S. naval power and more a symbol of the Navy’s dysfunctional leadership and bad timing.

The Dread Pirate Dave

David is the Editor in Chief of Postcards From the Edge. I was born on a cold November morning on the showy plains of Colorado. Like my father, before me, I am an American Nomad.

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