Despite the globe battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump has expressed his concern with criminal organizations taking advantage of governments being distracted. Trump’s administration has ramped up the number of countertrafficking missions in the Western Hemisphere to combat drug smuggling as well as human trafficking, the fastest growing trade in the US.
Drug Smugglers May Have Started COVID-19 Outbreak Aboard Destroyer, SecDef Says https://t.co/CNNrkViwF6
— Military.com (@Militarydotcom) May 6, 2020
The Kidd, a United States Navy destroyer, has confirmed 78 of its 300 crewmembers are infected with COVID-19. How did this happen? One theory from a top defense official says the crew could have been exposed to it when it stopped and boarded a drug-smuggling vessel. Making the Kidd become the second Navy warship to be sent back to port within a month.
It is possible that some asymptomatic sailors could be to blame. More than 30 days had passed since its last port in Hawaii, and the first sailor showing symptoms. Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, seems to think the team that undertook the counter-drug operation were exposed to the virus, and brought it on board with them.
Another Navy vessel had been in port for about a month in Guam. Aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt had around 1,100 infected crewmembers out of roughly 4,800. Nearly all personnel were evacuated and the ship was disinfected. The crew are finally starting to move back to the ship.
Mark Esper added that Navy ships were likely the safest place to be during the pandemic. He added that out of 94 ships, only two have been infected, saying it’s a pretty good record. Joint Chiefs Chairman Army General, Mark Milley, stated he is confident that the Navy’s new protocol will prevent future outbreaks on Tuesday.