First USS Roosevelt COVID-19 Victim Died With Sailor Wife by His Side
The first crewmember of the USS Theodore Roosevelt killed by the new coronavirus died with his wife, also an active duty sailor, by his side. Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker, Jr., 41, was one of more than 650 sailors on the ship to test positive for COVID-19. He died April 13 in a military hospital in Guam. His wife, identified by the San Francisco Chronicle as active duty sailor Symantha Thacker, flew from her base in San Diego to be with him as he was transferred to intensive care, according to the Navy’s announcement. The couple celebrated their eighth wedding anniversary April 5, the Chronicle reports.
Meanwhile, the The Washington Post published emails from the Roosevelt’s then-commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, sounding the alarm to admirals over the spread of the coronavirus on the ship. Crozier wrote, “I fully realize that I bear responsibility for not demanding more decisive action the moment we pulled in, but at this point my only priority is the continued well-being of the crew and embarked staff...I believe if there is ever a time to ask for help it is now regardless of the impact on my career.” Crozier’s predictions for his career came true: He was subsequently fired from his post. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly later resigned after a recording of him calling Crozier “stupid” and “naive” leaked. But speaking to the Today show Thursday, Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said he may reinstate Crozier.