The Pentagon seeks to convince the American public and the world that “emergency measures” are being taken to ensure that all seafarers currently stationed on two aircraft carriers in the South China Sea remain free of COVID-19.
The Navy takes strict health measures, including mandatory face masks among sailors, to avoid USS Theodore Roosevelt Disaster months ago, when more than 1,000 of its nearly 5,000 crew members became infected, including the ship’s commander.
“We took emergency measures to protect our sailors from COVID, but this suggests that this remains a real threat and requires constant vigilance.” Rear Admiral George Wyckoff, commander of the 5th strike group of aircraft carriers under the command of the USS Ronald Reagan, said in a statement Wednesday. “The whole team in the process, everyone on board, must wear a mask” he added.
The pentagon has described the maneuvers of the South China Sea two super-carriers sent to the region a few days ago, namely, USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, if necessary, uphold “the right of all countries to fly, sail and work, where international law allows” and hereinafter “Symbol of determination”,
Each carrier has 90 or more aircraft and about 6,000 people, making it a significant demonstration of strength off the coast of China. But any potential outbreak among the combined 12,000 naval personnel could be catastrophic, and send the exact opposite message of insufficient readiness.
Additional measures to ensure that these two carriers will avoid Roosevelt’s fate include spaced meal times, general measures of social distance and on-board specialists, such as trained microbiologists, who can help detect any early cases. Additional medical staff was also assigned to the carriers.
Beijing officials previously rejected the carrier’s provocative presence in the region as “Nothing more than paper tigers on the doorstep of China.”
Presented are our Navy exercises in the South China Sea, which began on July 4 for the first time in 6 years. pic.twitter.com/RLlGeshr1a
– Not Jim Kramer (@Not_Jim_Cramer) July 8, 2020
To some extent, this really describes the previous Roosevelt saga, given that COVID-19 really disabled it because it was forced to end its mission and dock with Guam to fight the outbreak.