’Sailors do not need to die,’ warns captain of coronavirus-hit U.S. aircraft carrier - Reuters
The captain of the U.S. aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, in a blunt letter, has called on Navy leadership for stronger measures to save the lives of his sailors and stop the spread of the coronavirus aboard the huge ship.
The four-page letter, the contents of which were confirmed by U.S. officials to Reuters on Tuesday, described a bleak situation onboard the nuclear-powered carrier as more sailors test positive for the virus.
The Navy puts the ship’s complement at 5,000, the equivalent of a small American town.
The letter was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Captain Brett Crozier, the ship’s commanding officer, wrote that the carrier lacked enough quarantine and isolation facilities and warned the current strategy would slow but fail to eradicate the highly contagious respiratory virus.
In the letter dated Monday, he called for “decisive action” and removing over 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them. Along with the ship’s crew, naval aviators and others serve aboard the Roosevelt.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset - our sailors,” Crozier wrote.
U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that nearly 80 people aboard the ship had tested positive for the coronavirus, a number likely to increase as all personnel on the ship are tested.