WASHINGTON – A sailor aboard the COVID-19-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt has died of the disease, the Navy announced Monday.
The sailor, whose name was not released pending notification of family, tested positive for COVID-19 March 30 and was placed in isolation. He was found unresponsive in his room April 9 and moved to intensive care at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, where the aircraft carrier is docked.
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The USS Theodore Roosevelt has been in the Persian Gulf.
The crisis on the ship has rocked the Navy. As of Sunday, 585 members of the 4,800-member crew had tested positive for the coronavirus. The ship’s former commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, was fired after pleading for help. And the acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly resigned under fire for dismissing Crozier.
Cost of Navy secretary’s trip to Guam?: $243,000, his job and isolation after coronavirus exposure
This handout photo released by the US Navy shows Captain Brett Crozier addressing the crew for the first time as commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) during a change of command ceremony on the ships flight deck in San Diego, California on November 1, 2019.
The sailor is the second service member to die of the disease, which had infected nearly 3,000 troops as of April 9, according to the Pentagon. Army Capt. Douglas Linn Hickok, 57, a drilling Guardsman and physician assistant, died March 30 in a Pennsylvania hospital.
The Navy had tested 92% of the Roosevelt’s crew as of Sunday and moved nearly 4,000 sailors to shore. Sailors remain aboard the ship to operate its nuclear reactors, guard its weapons and aircraft, and to sanitize the vessel.
The outbreak on the Roosevelt, which began with three sailors who tested positive, has rattled the Navy, from ill enlisted sailors to the very top of its command structure. Crozier’s letter to more than 20 Navy officials pleading for help angered his superiors when it leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.
That led to the chain of events that reverberates today. Modly fired Crozier, who was popular with the crew. Modly then flew to Guam on a Navy Gulfstream jet, at the cost of $243,000, and delivered a 15-minute speech excoriating Crozier. Top Pentagon officials have defended the expenditure.
Modly stood by his remarks after they drew heavy criticism in Washington, then backpedaled hours after President Donald Trump voiced some sympathy for Crozier. A day later, Modly, who is quarantined after visiting the stricken ship, resigned.
The Navy continues to investigate its response to the outbreak and Crozier’s response.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus: Sailor on USS Roosevelt, ship plagued by virus, dies