You've heard about the cruise ships out at sea carrying sick passengers, and their pleas to let them come the fuck onto dry land, and how Governor Florida Man just doesn't want to let them, even though some of the passengers are Florida residents.

You might have also heard there's a naval aircraft carrier out in the Pacific, full of more than 4,000 sailors, with 200 or more infected with coronavirus, and its captain is having to take the unprecedented step of pleading in public with the Trump administration to fucking help them. (Remember how if Trump handles everything just perfectly, we might end up with "only" 100,000 to 240,000 American deaths from the novel coronavirus? Right.)

The letter from Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, dated Monday, which somehow made its way to the San Francisco Chronicle -- maybe because nobody has been listening! -- is stunning.


In combat we are willing to take certain risks that are not acceptable in peacetime. However, we are not at war, and therefore cannot allow a single Sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily. Decisive action is required now in order to comply with CDC and [Navy] guidance and prevent tragic outcomes.

Crozier notes that they'd really like to comply with CDC guidelines of 14 days quarantine, but you can't do that on an aircraft carrier, therefore they are not able to do social distancing. And of those who have been moved ashore because they are either definitively positive or presenting symptoms, very few are actually quarantined in a CDC-compliant way.

They can't just get excited because they're testing everybody, Crozier writes, because testing "merely confirms the presence of the virus." They already know they have it, assholes. Also Crozier notes that testing for coronavirus has produced false negatives that later turned out to be positives. He notes that of the first 33 tested on the Roosevelt, seven tested negative originally, then developed symptoms anyway and subsequently tested positive.

Anyway, point is, everything is fucked up, and all Crozier's sailors are at risk, and he'd really like the Trump administration to fuckin' listen up. As evidence, he points to what happened on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and what a study showed might have happened if real quarantine interventions had happened.

Crozier lists recommendations, which in their simplest form amount to GET EVERYBODY OFF THE FUCKING BOAT, or at least most of 'em:

Decisive action is required. Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. A portion of the crew (approximately 10%) would have to stay aboard to run the reactor plant, sanitize the ship, ensure security, and provide for contingency response to emergencies. This is a necessary risk. [...] Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care. [...]

This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do. We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our Sailors.

Sailors do not need to die. The unspoken part we are sure Crozier intended was "I cannot believe I am having to type this with my fucking fingers and hands on a computer right now."

And good God, but Captain Crozier already did the Trump administration a solid and went ahead and wrote up the damn plan for them, in his letter!

So, is the Navy listening? Sorta kinda not really! So far they're not announcing plans to do what Crozier said.

But maybe help is on the way, because the Chronicle reports that (acting) Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has heard about this letter! And he says they're trying to get them the proper accommodations in Guam, where the ship is currently sitting in port, but Guam doesn't have the resources, and also, but you see, and also, well, but what you don't understand, etc.

Of course, there is no confirmed secretary of the Navy right now, because Donald Trump fired that guy for refusing to follow an illegal order.

But maybe Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is listening! Except for as of last night, he still hadn't read the letter:

Esper's probably mad because a month ago, the New York Times reported that he told all the commanders to please not say or do anything about coronavirus "related to protecting their troops" that might make Dear Leader look bad. DOH!

Hey, though, Donald Trump might be listening, because of how he is very serious now?

Asked Tuesday what should be done about the Roosevelt, President Trump said he would "let the military make that decision."

Awesome. This is going to turn out just great.

Of course, if this is happening on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, it's likely to happen on many more Navy vessels, for the reasons Crozier and many other military experts and veterans quoted in the Chronicle explained.

But hey, maybe part of MAGA is Make All Navy Ships The Diamond Princess Again (To Own The Libs), and we just don't understand the brilliance of it, because we're the libs getting owned.

UPDATE: Never let it be said that public shaming does not work. Mission accomplished, Captain Crozier.

[San Francisco Chronicle]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the senior editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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