Navy sailor from South Florida aboard aircraft carrier with COVID-19 cases, family speak out

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - An active duty U.S. Navy sailor from South Florida and his family are speaking out on the COVID-19 pandemic while he remains stranded on an aircraft carrier with about 100 sick patients on board.

Twenty-one-year-old Kevin Ammons is currently aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which is currently docked in Guam.

Speaking with 7News on Thursday, he revealed he does not have any symptoms associated with COVID-19.

“I’m good. Yeah, I’m great,” he said.

However, the aircraft carrier, which is holding a crew of about 5,000, has up to 100 service members infected with the virus.

While on a call with his parents, Karen and Kelcey Parrish, in Southwest Miami-Dade, Ammons talked about his experiences being out at sea and learning that a global pandemic reached where he’s based.

“They told us. They didn’t hide anything from us,” he said. “They told us to wash our hands, use hand sanitizer before, during and after whatever you do.”

Ammons said he tested negative for the coronavirus.

According to a U.S. Navy spokesperson, as many as 3,000 people will be taken off the ship and quarantined by Friday.

“I told him to stay prayed up and cleaned up,” said Karen.

Ammons’ parents said they’re just happy their son is healthy, but there’s another concern: the firing of the ship’s commander, U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier.

“[He said], ‘I need help. There’s people on here with COVID-19. I need help,'” said Karen.

Navy leaders said the captain created a panic by sending a memo pleading for help, which was picked up by media outlets.

Crozier’s dismissal was condemned by government officials.

On Thursday, when asked about the firing, President Donald Trump replied, “We’re gonna wait a little while because I understand there’s a news conference by the Secretary of Defense about that, but you know, I don’t agree with that at all, not at all, not even a little bit.”

“He’s human. What was he supposed to do? He did the right thing. Why would you fire him?” said Karen.

“Great guy. Great person, period. Great human being,” said Ammons. “He made the ship fun. He made us happy to be here.”

As of Thursday night, none of those who have tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been hospitalized.

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