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Two USS Ronald Reagan crew members test positive for COVID-19

Nikkei reported on Saturday that Fox News reported on Friday that according to a U.S. military source, the U.S. military closed off the Yokosuka Naval Base after two crew members on the USS Ronald Reagan deployed at the Yokosuka base tested positive for the new coronavirus. According to the report, the base will be closed at least until March 29. Sankei carried a similar story online, saying that since several service members aboard the nuclear carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have also tested positive for the virus, the U.S. military is facing an unprecedented situation in which two nuclear carriers deployed in the Indo-Pacific region are virtually inoperable. The paper added that a decline in the U.S. Navy’s rapid response capability and deterrence against China is unavoidable. 

 

Today’s Sankei also wrote that COVID-19 infections on the two nuclear flattops may force the Pentagon to review the U.S. military’s deployment posture vis-à-vis China because both aircraft carriers operate primarily in the Indo-Pacific region to deter the PLA. The virus is reportedly likely to cause a delay in warship repair and the maintenance and procurement of necessary supplies. 

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