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COVID-19 Meets CVN-71

USS Theodore Roosevelt at sea.jpg
USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71). By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael D. Cole – http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=57046, Public Domain, Link

The situation on the Theodore Roosevelt is not good, according to its Captain:

“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote. “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.”

In the four-page letter to senior military officials, Crozier said only a small contingent of infected sailors have been off-boarded. Most of the crew remain aboard the ship, where following official guidelines for 14-day quarantines and social distancing is impossible.

“Due to a warship’s inherent limitations of space, we are not doing this,” Crozier wrote. “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”

He asked for “compliant quarantine rooms” on shore in Guam for his entire crew “as soon as possible.”

“Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”

The full letter is available here, and makes for harrowing reading.

UPDATE: The carrier is being evacuated, crew moved into isolation.

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