Coronavirus

Crozier’s Crew Told to Use T-Shirts For Face Masks

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

As if the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) had not already been insulted enough.

Their former captain, Brett Crozier, put his career on the line to spare his crew from a wider outbreak of the novel coronavirus, but the sailors still aboard the ship are cleaning it with next to no equipment.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

As the Navy races to contain a coronavirus outbreak on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, sailors left onboard to maintain and disinfect the ship are doing so with minimal protective equipment, fashioning homemade masks out of T-shirts at the direction of the Pentagon.

Some are working while they await test results, not knowing if they are spreading or catching the virus.

Multiple family members of sailors aboard the carrier confirmed to The Chronicle that their relatives were making face coverings of what they had on hand, including torn T-shirts. The Pentagon has ordered military members to cover their faces when they can’t maintain safe physical distance, but has not widely distributed masks or other personal protective equipment.

The first thing I thought of when I read this story was former Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's visit to the Roosevelt just two days ago.

Modly boarded the Roosevelt and used the opportunity to smear Captain Crozier over the ship's open broadcast system and he even admonished the crew for cheering for their former captain when he was relieved from duty. Modly visited the ship to deliver those messages while also claiming the situation was under control, but he evidently left the ship without ensuring they had what they needed to get the situation under control.

I understand that procuring medical equipment is difficult right now, but the Pentagon's initial explanation for why the ship couldn't be evacuated before Crozier's letter was leaked to the public was that the ship it too critical to national defense to render it inoperable even for a short time.

That may be true, but if that is true it makes the current situation look even worse. Sailors still aboard the ship -- a ship that is indispensable -- are cleaning it with t-shirts over their faces.