Fewer 100 of the nearly 5,000 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt, now docked in Guam, have tested positive for the virus, but the Navy is moving sailors into various facilities and probably will begin using hotel rooms in the coming days. Navy leaders are talking with government officials in the U.S. territory to identify rooms for the crew members.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, however, made it clear that while several thousand will leave the ship, other sailors will remain on board in order to continue to protect the ship and run critical systems.
“We cannot and will not remove all sailors from the ship,” Modly told Pentagon reporters. He said officials will send as many sailors off the ship as possible while still maintaining safety. He said about 1,000 have gone ashore, and that number will grow to at least 2,700 in a couple of days.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset our sailors,” said Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the ship’s captain.