USS Kidd, a guided-missile destroyer, is currently in the eastern Pacific near South America. One American sailor has been medevaced off the ship. There are other positive cases on board, chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman told reporters at a press conference Friday morning.
The Navy later said in a statement the sailor assigned to USS Kidd (DDG-100) who tested positive was flown to a hospital in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday.
"Testing continues, and we expect additional cases," the statement added.
"The first patient transported is already improving and will self-isolate. We are taking every precaution to ensure we identify, isolate, and prevent any further spread onboard the ship,” said Rear Admiral Don Gabrielson, commander U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command/U.S. 4th Fleet. “Our medical team continues coordinating with the ship and our focus is the safety and well-being of every Sailor.”
A medical team has been flown out to the American destroyer, Hoffman said.
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT'S ENTIRE CREW HAS BEEN TESTED FOR CORONAVIRUS; OVER 800 POSITIVE, OFFICIALS SAY
The warship is now heading to port to be disinfected, Hoffman said. It's not immediately clear where. The closest U.S. Navy base is in San Diego, Calif., according to officials.
The Kidd is the second U.S. warship to have at least a dozen cases on board while deployed at sea.
USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT SAILOR WHO DIED FROM CORONAVIRUS-RELATED COMPLICATIONS IDENTIFIED
The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt limped into Guam with an outbreak on board nearly a month ago on March 27. With TR headed to Guam, the destroyer Kidd was dispatched to the eastern Pacific as part of the Pentagon's plan to ramp up the counter-drug mission recently announced at the White House earlier this month.
On April 1st at the White House, President Trump announced the U.S. military would be sending more warships, including "Navy destroyers" to ramp up counter-drug operations. USS Kidd was not mentioned specifically during the White House press conference attended by Defense Secretary Esper and other top Pentagon brass.
"We’re deploying additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, and helicopters; Coast Guard cutters; and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling our capabilities in the region," Trump said.
Defense Secretary Esper later said there was "no risk" to the fleet while talking about the reinforcements being sent to the counter-drug mission: