Nukewatch Quarterly Summer 2020
Covid-19 attacked the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt which is powered by two nuclear reactors. It’s presumed that the virus found its way onboard the carrier after a stop in Da Nang, Vietnam. Sailors came into contact with sick British sailors. Captain Brett Crozier tried to warn his superiors. He wanted the ship evacuated and sterilized, but his commander, Rear Admiral Stuart Baker initially declined. Navy secretary, Thomas Modley refused to respond to Capt. Crozier’s letter and fired him, claiming that he had done what he thought President Trump wanted. He resigned two weeks later. Captain Crozier became a victim of coronavirus along with 1,202 other crew members. Three of those testing positive on the Roosevelt worked in the reactor department. The outbreak resulted in one death. The crew was eventually quarantined on land in Guam for a month while the ship was disinfected. As of mid-May the Roosevelt was back at sea, this time with 14 sailors reinfected.
Crew members aboard the aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan, the USS Carl Vinson, and the USS Nimitz (each sub has two reactors) also have the virus. The Navy has stopped making public the number of active-duty Covid-19 cases.
—ABC News, May 24, 2020