Navy Seaman Thomas Trevino waxes an F/A-18E Super Hornet aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 3, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Olympia O. McCoy)

The captain of a U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier is making a stunning plea for help as more than 100 crew members reportedly have tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Capt. Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt penned a four-page letter, first obtained by the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he described a catastrophic situation developing aboard the warship.

“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote.

“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.”

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“The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”

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Crozier asked for “compliant quarantine rooms” for his entire crew in Guam where the ship is docked “as soon as possible.”

“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. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote.

“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.”

Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer Jackie Velasco directs an EA-18G Growler on the flight deck of the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Pacific Ocean, Dec. 13, 2019. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Erik Melgar)

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly addressed the captain’s plea on CNN.

“I heard about the letter from Capt. Crozier (Tuesday) morning, I know that our command organization has been aware of this for about 24 hours and we have been working actually the last seven days to move those sailors off the ship and get them into accommodations in Guam. The problem is that Guam doesn’t have enough beds right now and we’re having to talk to the government there to see if we can get some hotel space, create tent-type facilities,” Modly said.

“We don’t disagree with the (captain) on that ship and we’re doing it in a very methodical way because it’s not the same as a cruise ship, that ship has armaments on it, it has aircraft on it, we have to be able to fight fires if there are fires on board the ship, we have to run a nuclear power plant, so there’s a lot of things that we have to do on that ship that make it a little bit different and unique but we’re managing it and we’re working through it,” he said.

“We’re very engaged in this, we’re very concerned about it and we’re taking all the appropriate steps,” Modly added.

The Chronicle noted: “So far, none of the infected sailors has shown serious symptoms, but the number of those who have tested positive has jumped exponentially since the Navy reported infections in three crew members on March 24, the first time COVID-19 infections had been detected on a naval vessel at sea.”

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