A second sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt has been placed in intensive care after testing positive for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Navy announced on Tuesday.
The sailor was admitted to the intensive care unit at Naval Hospital Guam “for increased observation due to shortness of breath,” a Navy news release says.
Three other sailors from the ship are being treated in the hospital but they are not in intensive care, the Navy statement says.
That sailor, whose name has not yet been officially released, was moved to intensive care after being found unresponsive in his room on April 9.
As of Tuesday, a total of 589 sailors from the Theodore Roosevelt had tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 4,000 crew members had been moved ashore.
While it is unclear exactly how the disease came aboard the ship, Theodore Roosevelt sailors first began to fall ill with the coronavirus after a port call in Vietnam.
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday has said that visiting Vietnam during the coronavirus pandemic was “a very risk-informed decision” made by the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Adm. Philip S. Davidson.
The New York Times first reported on April 12 that the Theodore Roosevelt’s former commanding officer Capt. Brett E. Crozier was warned by the aircraft carrier’s doctors that more than 50 members of the crew could die from the disease, yet Crozier’s superiors played down the seriousness of the threat.
Finally, Crozier sent an email to his superiors warning that sailors would die unless the majority of the Theodore Roosevelt’s crew were moved ashore into individual isolation. Former Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly fired Crozier after a leaked copy of his email was published in the San Francisco Chronicle.
Speaking to reporters on April 2, Modly said he doubted that sailors aboard the Theodore Roosevelt were at risk of dying from the coronavirus.
“I think you raise a particular level of alarm when you say that 50 people on the crew are going to die, OK?” Modly said during a Pentagon news conference. “No one knows that to be true. It does not comport with the data we have right now on the ship. And if we take the actions we're going to take, hopefully not.”
Five days later, Modly resigned after flying thousands of miles to give an unhinged diatribe to the Theodore Roosevelt crew, in which he accused Crozier of being naïve or stupid, according to an audio recording of his speech obtained by Task & Purpose.
"The crew deserved a lot more empathy and a lot less lecturing," Modly wrote in his final message to sailors. “I lost sight of that at the time and I am deeply sorry for some of the words and for how they were spread across the media landscape like a wildfire. I had hoped to transmit a message of love, and duty, and mission, and courage in the face of adversity. Those words are in there, but they are now lost, because of me, and I will regret that for the rest of my life. But, I am not a football head coach, or a master chief, or even the ship’s own CO, I am the Secretary of the Navy and you, and they, should expect more out of me. I own it.”