WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A sailor from the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was in an intensive care unit (ICU) in Guam, the Navy said on Tuesday, a day after another sailor from the carrier died after contracting the virus.
The U.S. Navy sailor who died from the COVID-19 illness on Monday became infected with the coronavirus while aboard the carrier, whose captain was fired after warning that crew members would die unnecessarily unless strong action was taken.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Navy said the other sailor was moved to the ICU for “increased observation due to shortness of breath.” Three other sailors from the carrier are being treated at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam for coronavirus symptoms.
So far, 589 crew members of the Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Late last month the Roosevelt’s commander, Captain Brett Crozier, called on Navy leadership to evacuate the vast majority of the crew and to disinfect the ship in a letter that leaked to the public – embarrassing the Navy.
The letter, which was obtained by a number of news outlets, set in motion a series of events that led to Crozier’s firing and the resignation last week of acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.
The Navy this week is expected to release the results of an investigation into the events surrounding the letter. Officials have not ruled out reinstating Crozier, who is seen as a hero by the ship’s crew, as captain of the carrier.
No other part of the military has been as widely impacted by the coronavirus as the Navy, in part because of the size of the ships and how sailors aboard work and live in very close proximity.
Seven crewmembers on the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy have tested positive for coronavirus, the Navy added on Tuesday.
The Mercy arrived in Los Angeles last month to help reduce the stress on hospitals dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bill Berkrot)