Coronavirus forces US aircraft carrier to stop for emergency testing

An outbreak of coronavirus on the USS Theodore Roosevelt has now left at least two dozen crewmen infected, sidelining the 1,000-foot aircraft carrier.

The boat was forced to make an emergency stopover in Guam so all 5,000 aboard could be tested. The Roosevelt had previously been on patrol in the South China Sea.

Though coronavirus has affected every branch of the U.S. military, the Navy has been the hardest hit by far, with a third of total cases among the armed forces.

“The Navy is headed into choppy waters in terms of readiness in the months ahead,” said retired Adm. James Stavridis, a former top commander of NATO.

Large aircraft carriers like the Roosevelt are uniquely vulnerable to infectious diseases, with thousands of people often crammed together in close quarters.

“We are operating in the area where the disease started. All the risk and the spread of this disease initiated in this theater. So, if we were surprised, we’d be naive,” said U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, Adm. John Aquilino, adding there was no timetable for when the Roosevelt might leave Guam.

With Post wires

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