660 Crew Members on USS Theodore Roosevelt Test Positive for Coronavirus

As of Friday, 660 crew members aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have now tested positive for the novel coronavirus, a U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek.

According to the Navy spokesperson, there are currently 4,865 total crew members on the ship, which means around 13 percent of the crew have now tested positive. On the other hand, the Navy spokesperson told Newsweek that the ship has seen 3,920 negative coronavirus tests.

In a public statement, the Navy noted that 94 percent of the ship's crew members have been tested for coronavirus. Of the number of confirmed cases, seven have been moved off the ship and are being treated for the virus in the U.S. Naval Hospital Guam. One sailor remains in the Intensive Care Unit for further observation due to shortness of breath.

The Navy spokesperson confirmed to Newsweek that the 4,865 crew members is the usual number aboard the ship.

The ship arrived at a port in Guam in March and has since been severely impacted by the coronavirus.

The information comes just after the Navy identified the name of the crew member aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who recently died from COVID-19. On Thursday, the Navy identified the sailor as Chief Petty Officer Charles Thacker, who is the first sailor and first active-duty service member to die from complications related to the virus.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time," the USS Theodore Roosevelt's commanding officer Capt. Carlos Sardiello said in a statement. "Our number one priority continues to be the health and well-being of all members of the Theodore Roosevelt Strike Group and we remain steadfast in our resolve against the spread of the virus."

The outbreak of the coronavirus aboard the ship has generated controversy and led to the termination of the ship's former commander Capt. Brett Crozier after he penned a letter, which was leaked to the media, about the conditions on the ship and the dangerous consequences that could follow if the crew wasn't evacuated. Since then, Thomas Modly, who removed Crozier from command of the ship, resigned from his post as Acting Navy Secretary, following backlash from his decision. Modly has since been replaced by James McPherson.

U.S.S Theodore Roosevelt
The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is docked at Naval Base Guam in Apra Harbor on April 10, 2020. As of Friday, April 17, 660 crew members have tested positive for coronavirus Tony Azios/Getty

While many have called for Crozier to be reinstated, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper discussed the possibility of Crozier's returning to duty on the aircraft carrier on Thursday.

"I've got to keep an open mind with regard to everything," Esper said on NBC's Today when asked about a New York Times report which noted that the Navy was considering Crozier's reinstatement. "We've got to take this one step at a time, let the investigation within the Navy conclude itself, if you will, at it – as they brief it up, and we'll take things as they can, and we'll make very reasoned opinions and judgments as this progresses."

As of Friday, the new coronavirus has continued to spread throughout the U.S., infecting over 674,000 Americans and causing at least 33,325 deaths, according to a tracker provided by Johns Hopkins University. Almost 4,700 members of the military, their dependents, civilians and contractors working for the Department of Defense have tested positive for COVID-19. Of those, 19 have died, including a second active duty member and three dependents.

According to the DOD, 957 have recovered from the virus as of April 16.