Sailor from US aircraft carrier dies of COVID-19

Washington (AFP) –


A sailor who was aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier died Monday of COVID-19, the first fatality from nearly 600 confirmed cases among its crew, the US Navy said Monday.

The sailor, who tested positive for the disease on March 30, was discovered unresponsive on April 9 and placed in the intensive care unit of the Navy's hospital in Guam, where the Roosevelt is docked.

The death came six days after Thomas Modly resigned as acting navy secretary over his mishandling of an outbreak on the Roosevelt, one of two US aircraft carriers in the western Pacific.

Modly had earlier fired the Roosevelt's captain, Brett Crozier, after his worries about the shipboard outbreak and warning that it could dangerously incapacitate much of the crew became public.

The controversial firing sparked questions over whether the Navy hierarchy had ignored Crozier's internal requests in March to evacuate and test most of the 4,800 crew in Guam in order to stop the epidemic and clean the warship.

As of Monday, 585 crew members have been infected with the virus, according to the Navy.