USS Kidd: Number of coronavirus cases from second warship outbreak nears 100 as Navy restricts information on pandemic

The ship, currently in port in San Diego, was the second US warship to be hit by an outbreak of the pandemic after USS Theodore Roosevelt aircraft carrier.

Officials said there are currently more than 95 cases on board the ship, which means nearly 30% of the crew has been infected, surpassing the infection rate of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which has seen about 24% of the crew being infected.

The handover of the outbreak on board the aircraft carrier resulted in the firing of the ship's command and the resignation of the acting naval secretary. It has been the subject of a naval investigation to be completed May 27 after an initial preliminary investigation, officials say, told CNN that the aircraft carrier's former captain, Captain Brett Crozier, was reinstated.


On Friday, the Naval Defense Department released official daily figures on the number of cases on Kidd and Theodore Roosevelt, saying it "will only report significant changes to these vessels and new cases on other deployed vessels."

On Thursday night, a statement from the Navy said that the official number of active coronavirus cases on Kidd was 78.

A 20% increase in positive coronavirus cases does not appear to have fulfilled the Navy's definition of "substantial" information.


The statement on Thursday said that USS Theodore Roosevelt had 1,102 active cases in addition to 53 sailors recovering from coronavirus after completing at least 14 days of isolation and two successful negative tests. Three sailors from the ship are being treated at the US Naval Hospital Guam for symptoms of coronavirus. None of these sailors are in the ICU.

When asked about the new policy, Pentagon Chief of Staff Jonathan Hoffman told Pentagon reporters "we wanted to get out of the pattern of providing a daily tracking record for minor changes."

The Navy is launching wider investigations into virus-affected aircraft carriers

"We have now reached a point with both of these ships, especially with (Theodore Roosevelt), where we have gone through, the entire crew has been off, the entire crew has been tested, we have the results, and the ship has been cleaned, the crew is now back so we think we've moved past a point where the daily updates provide useful information for a public conversation about it, "Hoffman said.

"If there was unfortunately a further outbreak, we would have provided information. But we wanted to get out of the pattern of providing a daily trace of minor changes to this. And I think it's a reasonable place to be," Hoffman added.

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