Sailors and Marines from 3rd Medical Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, sterilize a building in support of USS Theodore Roosevelt sailors. Photo by Julio Rivera/U.S. Marine Corps
April 10 (UPI) -- The Navy has deployed a team of medical professionals to Guam to augment efforts to manage an outbreak of the novel coronavirus on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
According to the Marine Corps, about 230 sailors and Marines arrived in Guam "throughout the first weeks of April" to support the Roosevelt's medical staff in assessing, managing and treating symptoms of COVID-19 while the ship is docked in Guam.
As of Friday, 447 sailors from the ship have tested positive, and 3,155 of its 4,800-strong crew have been moved ashore in Guam, according to Navy figures reported by Stars and Stripes.
The aircraft carrier has been docked in Guam since late March, when it stopped on the island to test its crew of about 4,800 for COVID-19.
The outbreak has been the center of a political firestorm that resulted in the removal of its captain, Brett Crozier, and the resignation of the Navy's acting secretary after Crozier sent a letter pleading for more resources to manage the outbreak.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CBS This Morning on Friday that he is willing to consider reinstating Crozier, pending the outcome of an investigation.
"No further action will be taken against Capt. Crozier until the investigation is completed. And once that's completed, we'll see where that takes us. And so we've taken nothing off the table," Esper said.
"As a maritime force, we need to work together as a Navy and Marine Corps team to stop the spread of COVID-19 in order to remain a ready force in the region," U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Keith D. Reventlow, 3rd Marine Logistics Group Commanding General said in a statement.
"Soon after receiving the request for support, we rapidly deployed a team of highly skilled medical professionals to augment Theodore Roosevelt's existing capabilities with manpower and resources to effectively assist with COVID-19 cases," Reventlow said. "Our combined efforts to combat the virus and protect the health of our force will allow us to continue our mission in Indo-Pacific theater."