The number of coronavirus cases on the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific Ocean has spiked to “dozens”, with authorities moving to isolate the entire crew in port, US media have reported.

The US Navy say that the ship was last in port in Vietnam more than two weeks ago. The Wall Street Journal first reported that at least 23 sailors aboard an aircraft carrier tested positive for Coronavirus.

“The more than eightfold spike in the number of positive cases in two days aboard the ship is the latest red flag of how the pandemic is affecting the US military. There is now at least 280 service members who have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday morning, an increase of at least 53 from the 227 reported on Wednesday. And there are nearly 600 positive cases across the Defense Department, which includes civilians, dependents, and contractors. According to Modly, 133 of those are in the Navy.”

On the 24th of March 2020, it was reported that three sailors aboard the deployed vessel tested positive for COVID-19. Within a few days, that number climbed to “dozens”.

Theodore Roosevelt was reported to be the first ship in the U.S. Navy to have a COVID-19 outbreak while at sea.

“As testing continues, additional positive cases of COVID-19 have been discovered aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt,” Admiral Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations, said in a statement issued Thursday.

“We are taking this threat very seriously and are working quickly to identify and isolate positive cases while preventing further spread of the virus aboard the ship.”

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Ian M

How do you socially distance 5000 personnel in a floating petri dish?


With Military discipline.
Many things make a ship a war fighting machine.
But above all is the chain of command.
In some ways it is one of the best places in the world to contain infection.
It only requires the tools to do so.


Good research case though . Hope all are well


Where as the UK is hardly testing anyone, resulting in blissful ignorance and complacency.


This mighty ship could be disabled, not by explosives but a silent weapon by the name of Covid-19. It reminds me of the quote, ‘Man will die not with a bang but a whimper,’ or something like that?


Probably not disabled. She can do her job if called upon. The powers that be are being cautious
Most matelots are healthy, have no underlying health issues and are not of a certain age that is in the higher risk categories. However probably everyone will get it. Thats the nature off living on top of each other on a warship.


To give it some context if the whole crew get it ( and without the strictest measures that would happen) from what we know of the characteristics of this disease from around the 5,500 crew and air wing, 270 ish will need a hospital and around 5-10 would die.

The numbers work out hard even for a young fit crew.


5-10 deaths to be totally cold and calculating is fine if you still need to do proper shooting operations. Losing 270 crew to hospital is also probably manageable as long as they are not reactor watch keepers or in very specialist jobs. A carrier usually loses a few crew members on a deployment anyway. Suicides and accidents. i have sympathy with the CO as this is not currently a “No S**T” operational deployment. he should be getting support from the higher ups. unfortunatley He isnt and has been left to flap in the wind. The US response in general has… Read more »


Can’t agree more, seems to be a real lack of effective leadership. I’m a bit pissed at our lot over some aspects ( speed, PPE,logistics, testing and contact tracing/advice early on ect) but to be honest the American federal government response puts in in perspective.


Over 70 positives onboard now, the captain has requested permission to evacuate the entire crew and says the US Navy has abandoned them.


Also an outbreak on the USS Ronald Reagan.


The federal elements of the US government seem to have taken a bit of a leave of absence in regard to covid 19, which is a tragedy as without absolute control America is going to suffer a catastrophe. What’s sad is the richest nation in the world should be the most able to manage this disease and keep it under control.

I was incredibly concerned for our poor fellow humans in the third world, im starting to feel the same dread for a lot of the first world as well.

David Flandry

‘What’s sad is the richest nation in the world should be the most able to manage this disease and keep it under control.”

That is a non sequitur.


The “Big Stick” has already pulled into NAVSTA Guam a couple days ago. Don’t know what the CO is going on about. He knows perfectly well what the protocols are for isolating, testing, and evacuating personnel off of quarantined ships. Not that I don’t have sympathy but this isn’t something that can be avoided or bypassed… He needs to to DO HIS JOB as the CO and not makes things worse on his ship’s morale.



Letter available HERE-

To be fair the CO does say He can fight the ship if needed but as this isnt war then they, fleet HQ, has a duty of care to the crews well being…which they do.

Peter Crisp

Surely this situation is going to cause morale in the entire armed forces to plummet? I’m not in the armed forces but I thought caring for the people of the armed forces was a pretty high priority and at a time when we aren’t at war surely just leaving ships out on operations while this is happening just shows a complete lack of compassion and care for the people on board? We have the ability to send troops to fight at a moments notice surely we should have the ability to help the people who we ask to fight and… Read more »


Now they have fired the captain for speaking out!

David Flandry

The USN took things so seriously they fired the captain.