USS Theodore Roosevelt Sailor Dies From COVID-19
The sailor’s name will be withheld for 24 hours pending notification of the next of kin. Sadly, the death becomes the latest in a sad story that has befallen one of America’s most visible, enduring symbols of military might.
A Navy press release stated the sailor tested positive for COVID-19 on march 30. Officials removed the sailor from the ship, placing the person in an isolation house on Naval Base Guam. Four other USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors also went into isolation in that same house. There, the sailors received medical checks twice daily, according to the Navy.
During a medical check the morning of April 9, staff found the sailor unresponsive. Medical check staff alerted Naval Base Guam emergency responders. Fellow sailors and onsite medical team administered CPR. Officials then transferred the sailor from the house to the Intensive Care Unit.
Roosevelt Captain Warned Navy
The USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Guam March 27. A Navy press release incredibly claimed the return to port signaled a “scheduled port visit for resupply and crew rest.” However, the world learned after wide reporting told sailors tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the return to port.
But a mere days later, Roosevelt skipper Capt. Brett Crozier’s famous letter went public. In it, the captain pleaded for the U.S. Navy to help his sailors, warning of impending senseless death. Instead, the Navy fired the captain, relieving him of his command. The public backlash lead to the resignation of Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. The resignation put a huge exclamation point on a series of missteps by the U.S. Navy in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Now a sailor is dead, and one can’t help but remember the images of sailors cheering as Capt. Crozier left the Roosevelt for the final time. The Navy could have listened to this commander, and possibly prevented the senseless death he warned of. But it decided on another route. Let’s hope no more sailors die before the Navy gets it right.