U.S. Navy Identifies Sailor Who Died From COVID-19

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

The U.S. Navy has identified the USS Theodore Roosevelt sailor who died to coronavirus as Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr.

As ABC News reports, the 41-year-old’s death was at the center of the controversy surrounding the firing of Capt. Brett Crozier, who wrote a letter to people outside of the chain of command detailing the severity of his crew members contracting the coronavirus.

According to the report, 655 of the 4,865 crew members aboard the Roosevelt have now tested positive for the coronavirus. Six sailors have been hospitalized, with one in intensive care, but Thacker Jr. was the only fatality.

Here’s more:

Thacker tested positive for the novel coronavirus on March 30 and was placed in isolation on Guam. On April 9 he was found unresponsive in his quarters and placed in intensive care at the naval hospital in Guam.

His wife, also a sailor, flew from the mainland United States to Guam to be with her husband and was by his bedside when he died, according to the Navy.

The Theodore Roosevelt was the fourth aircraft carrier Thacker had served on during his 22 years in the Navy. As a senior enlisted sailor he was in charge of young sailors who operate and handle the bombs and missiles used by the fighter jets that fly aboard the Roosevelt.

Crozier is also among those who have tested positive for the virus and is currently in self-isolation on Guam after experiencing mild symptoms. A friend of his told ABC News that he expects to be out of isolation in a few days.

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The U.S. Navy is currently in talks on how to deal with the coronavirus on its vessels, including a plan that would see Crozier re-instated to his post.

“All options are on the table,” said Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations.

From ABC News:

Over the weekend, Gilday received results of the investigation that looked at the circumstances on the ship as well as the overall command climate in the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet. The investigation was led by Adm. Robert Burke, the vice chief of naval operations.

Navy officials have said that based on the investigation’s conclusions Gilday will decide the next course of action with regards to the ship. Actions could include additional action to address the command climate aboard the ship and the broader command structure to even considering the potentially unprecedented action of reinstating Crozier to his command.


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