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The coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt, docked in Guam, has stoked anxieties on the island as hundreds of sailors enter its hotels for quarantine.

An outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier started unfolding in late March and has plunged the Navy into a leadership crisis after Capt. Brett E. Crozier sent out a letter urging faster action to protect his sailors.

Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt moving meals for sailors being taken to local hotels in an effort to implement social distancing at Naval Base Guam. (U.S. Navy via AP)

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly removed Crozier from his position and then assailed him during a speech on the ship in Guam, saying Crozier was either "too naive or too stupid" to be in charge. Modly resigned Tuesday after facing blowback and after publicly apologizing for his comments.

The carrier has been docked at the U.S. territory for over a week as members of the 4,865-person crew have been tested for the virus and moved ashore.

Some 580 sailors have been confirmed infected. Over 1,700 sailors who have tested negative have been isolating themselves in hotels in Tumon, while the sick remain at Naval Base Guam, Navy officials said.

Mary Rhodes, the president of the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association, said as many as 10 hotels have been set aside to house up to 4,000 sailors, while other guests have been moved to smaller properties.

The sailors' rooms have been stocked with two weeks' worth of linens, towels and water, Rhodes said. They would make no contact with hotel workers; only military police and medical teams could visit.

Not including the sailors, Guam had more than 130 confirmed coronavirus cases and five deaths as of Saturday.


Hope Cristobal, who lived near the hotels, said she worried that officials were making promises about safety they won't keep.

"Our people are getting slapped in the face," she said. "I have shortness of breath, and I'm wondering if it's COVID or is it my anxiety."

Rev. Fran Hezel, a parish priest at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo, said most people were sympathetic because many in Guam have been in the Navy or had relatives who were.

"Frankly, I don't think it's much of an issue, because I think that people have bigger fish to fry," he said. "I've come to the conclusion that Guam... has got as deep links with the military as it does with the Catholic faith."


For now, officials have been focused on stopping the spread of the virus, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said as she announced that sailors could stay in hotels.

"I know there will be a small chorus of cynics who will oppose this decision, but now is not the time for 'us versus them,'" Guerrero told reporters earlier this month. "We can protect Guam while being humane to them."

Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.