The ship, which is currently in the port of San Diego, was the second American warship to be hit by a pandemic epidemic after the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt.
Officials said there were currently more than 95 cases aboard the ship, which means that nearly 30% of the crew were infected, exceeding the infection rate for the USS Theodore Roosevelt who saw approximately 24% of its crew infected.
The return of the epidemic to the aircraft carrier resulted in the dismissal of the ship’s commander and the resignation of the Acting Secretary of the Navy. It has been the subject of a Navy investigation which is to be completed on May 27 following an initial preliminary investigation according to which the officials declared to CNN recommended that the former captain of the aircraft carrier, the captain Brett Crozier, be reinstated.
On Friday, the Navy stopped providing official daily figures on the number of cases on the Kidd and Theodore Roosevelt, saying it “will only report major changes on these ships and new cases on all other ships deployed.”
The 20% increase in coronavirus-positive cases does not appear to have met the Navy’s definition of “significant” information.
The statement said on Thursday that the USS Theodore Roosevelt had 1,102 active cases in addition to 53 sailors who have recovered from the coronavirus after completing at least 14 days of isolation and two successful negative tests. Three sailors on the ship are being treated at the United States Naval Hospital in Guam for symptoms of coronavirus. None of these sailors is in the ICU.
Asked about the new policy, Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told Pentagon reporters “that we want to break away from the model of providing daily monitoring of minor changes.”
“We have now reached a point with these two ships, especially with the (Theodore Roosevelt), where we have crossed, the whole crew has left, the whole crew has been tested, we have the results, the ship has been cleaned, the crew is now back on the ship. So we think we’ve passed a point where daily updates provide useful information for a public conversation about it, “said Hoffman.
“Unfortunately, if there was a new epidemic, we would provide information. But we wanted to get out of the model of providing daily monitoring of minor changes in this area. And I think it’s a reasonable place, “added Hoffman.