The US Navy is trying to build a temporary tent-city hospital on Guam so it can evacuate some of at least 100 sailors stricken by coronavirus on a US nuclear aircraft carrier, the Acting Navy Secretary says.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt is in such desperate shape its captain made public on Monday a desperate plea for official help — writing, “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die.”
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly admitted to CNN that officials “don’t disagree” with Capt. Brett Crozier’s dire warning, insisting they are trying everything they can to help the carrier docked off Guam.
“We have been working actually the last seven days to move those sailors off the ship and get them into accommodations in Guam,” he told the network of the US island territory in the Western Pacific.
“The problem is that Guam doesn’t have enough beds right now and so we’re having to talk to the government there to see if we can get some hotel space, create some tent-type facilities,” Modly said.
However, the naval boss said there was a tough “balancing act” in trying to protect sailors while also keeping a key military resource primed for action.
“It’s not the same as a cruise ship — that ship has armaments on it, it has aircraft on it, we have to be able to fight fires if there are fires on board the ship, we have to run a nuclear power plant,” he told CNN.
“We all have one mission, and that is to defend the nation,” he insisted.
“[We want] our friends and allies — and most importantly, our foes and adversaries — to understand that we are not standing down the watch.
“We still have a responsibility to protect the seas, to protect our friends and allies around the world, and we’re just gonna have to adjust on the fly in the best possible way we can to do that,” he said.
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