All Crew Members From USS Theodore Roosevelt Have Been Tested for COVID-19, Navy Says

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
April 23, 2020US News
All Crew Members From USS Theodore Roosevelt Have Been Tested for COVID-19, Navy Says
The USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) is seen while entering into the port in Da Nang, Vietnam, on March 5, 2020. (Kham/File Photo/Reuters)

All crew members from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have been tested for the CCP virus, the U.S. Navy said.

“As of today, 100% of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) crewmembers have been tested for COVID-19, with 840 total positive and 4,098 negative results,” a release from the U.S. Navy on Thursday said.

A “small portion” of the tests are still pending and 88 sailors that previously tested positive have since recovered from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

The Thursday report marked an increase of 63 cases from the 777 confirmed cases the Navy reported the day before.

Four sailors from the virus-hit aircraft carrier are being treated at the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam and none are in the ICU, according to the release.

“The Navy Reserve has more than 1,500 sailors engaged in COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts around the world,” the Navy said. “This includes over 650 Reservists at the Javits Center and local hospitals in the New York City area, and over 200 Reservists serving aboard the USNS Mercy and USNS Comfort.”

NTD Photo
Captain Brett Crozier addresses the crew for the first time as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during a change of command ceremony on the ship’s flight deck in San Diego, Calif., on Nov. 1, 2019. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sean Lynch/Handout via Reuters)

The aircraft carrier was thrown into the spotlight earlier this month when its then-captain Brett Crozier’s letter was leaked to the media.

In the letter, Crozier asked Pentagon leaders to pull most of the crew off the ship, saying that adopting proper isolation measures aboard was impossible.

The U.S. Navy relieved the commander shortly afterward for breaching protocol when he made the request.

A Warning to Adversaries

Pentagon leaders say that despite the carrier being out of action, in aggregate, the readiness of the military remains undiminished by the pandemic, although they admitted that it could degrade in the coming months.

“If our adversaries think this is our moment of weakness, they are dangerously wrong,” said Deputy Defense Secretary David L. Norquist in early April. “To those who wish us harm, make no mistake: even with the challenges that this disease has brought to our shores, the Department of Defense stands ready to meet any threat and defend our nation.”

Carrier strike groups are a key part of U.S. power projection.

In the event of a conflict, the U.S. Navy could quickly shake off the difficulties of having at the one carrier sidelined, defense analysts previously told The Epoch Times. If more carriers were to be hit, however, it would begin to dent U.S. influence in the region in the medium term.

Epoch Times reporter Simon Veazey contributed to this report.

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