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First Confirmed Cases in America Were on US Aircraft Carrier


Author’s note: I emailed CDC and Naval officials who worked on the Roosevelt antibody study, requesting interviews. Five days after sending these emails, I’ve not received a response. I believe most of my questions have not been asked by other journalists and my questions will address topics that have not been addressed by public health officials (or other journalists) to date.

For a few weeks in early spring 2020, the drama of an outbreak of COVID-19 on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt was world news

Inexplicably, however, journalists and Covid researchers missed or ignored several blockbuster findings that could rewrite key (and, I believe, false) narratives about this novel virus. In this author’s opinion, this possibly represents an intentional disinformation campaign perpetrated by “trusted” Naval and public health officials.  

A later antibody study of a sample of the ship’s crew members produced several eye-opening findings. In my view, two findings qualify as particularly significant:

Information contained in the study strongly suggests that at least two crew members (and most likely several other crew members) had already been infected with the novel coronavirus when the ship sailed from San Diego on January 17, 2020. 

The date is significant as this would be three days before the CDC reported the first “confirmed” Covid case in America. (This case was “confirmed” on January 20, 2020 but the PCR sample was taken on January 18.)

Language in the Roosevelt study definitely “confirms” at least two sailors, both of whom later tested positive for antibodies, experienced Covid symptoms between Jan. 12-17, 2020. 

For more than three years, “official” Covid histories state the first “confirmed” case in America was a man from Washington who’d returned from Wuhan, China. As developed below, crew members of the USS Roosevelt could, in fact, be listed as “confirmed” cases and by themselves debunk the narrative that America’s first cases came from travelers returning from Wuhan. 

The same antibody results suggest that at least 59.7 percent of the ship’s approximately 4,800 crew members had already been infected by mid-to-late April 2020. This means approximately 3,000 crew members had contracted the virus by this date. 

Sadly, Aviation Ordnanceman Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., 41, passed away on April 13, 2020 reportedly from complications of Covid. Officer Thacker tested positive for Covid March 30th and was in isolation in housing on Guam when he was found unresponsive April 9th. According to published reports, Thacker was receiving twice-a-day medical evaluations. He had gone to the Naval hospital in Guam on April 4th, but had been discharged back to his isolation quarters. It’s unclear how his medical condition deteriorated so rapidly without anyone knowing. It’s also unclear if he was staying by himself or with other sailors in isolation. I hope CDC and Navy officials can provide more details in a future interview, which I’ve requested. According to antibody and PCR test results, approximately 3,000 Roosevelt crew members were infected by Covid and Thacker was the only death. As of April 16, six of 4,800 crew members were hospitalized. Many sailors who were hospitalized seemed to have been hospitalized as a precaution, according to various press reports.

Significantly, only one crew member, age 41, died from “complications of Covid.” (A future article will address why I believe the public hasn’t learned all relevant details regarding the death of Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr.).

As the vast majority of Roosevelt crew members were under the age of 40, this one death reveals that the Infection Fatality Rate (IFR) for crew members under age 41 was 0.000 percent. 

In my opinion, the second big headline from this antibody study should have been: “Covid poses virtually no mortality risk to anyone middle age or younger … even in the worst and most intense spread environments.”

Instead, the prevailing narrative remained that Covid was a serious threat to “everyone” in the world, even though lessons from the Roosevelt proved this was not the case.

Two other naval vessels had ‘outbreaks’ where antibody testswere later performed on crew members

The above finding was further reinforced by two other “outbreaks” on military vessels from approximately the same time period. 

Sixty percent of crew members on the French air craft carrier The Charles De Gaulle tested positive for antibodies after an outbreak said to have begun in March 2020. 

According to this chart74.75 percent of crew members of this French aircraft carrier either had “confirmed” or “suspected” cases of Covid (60 percent of de Gaulle crew members tested positive for antibodies, the same percentage as the Roosevelt study).

None of the 1,739 sailors on the de Gaulle died. Also, an outbreak that infected at least 41 percent of the 333 crew members on the guided missile destroyer USS Kidd resulted in no deaths.

This means that Covid outbreaks that spread through three military ships between January – April 2020 – potentially affecting almost 7,000 Navy personnel – resulted in only one (presumed) Covid death. 

According to results of antibody and PCR tests administered to crew members of these three Naval vessels, a total of 4,408 sailors were either “confirmed” or “probable/suspect” Covid cases.

As only one crew member died from Covid, the Infection Fatality Rate was 0.022 percent – which is significantly lower than the infection fatality rate for influenza (often reported as 0.1 percent). 

Most news reports in the early months of the official pandemic said the IFR from Covid was between 1 and 4 percent, meaning at least 1-in-100 people infected with this virus would die from complications caused by this new and contagious virus.

However, among Naval personnel believed to have contracted this virus while serving on these three vessels, only 1 of 4,408 likely-infected sailors died from Covid.

Expressed as a fraction, the IFR for flu (0.1 percent) corresponds to 1 death in 1,000 flu cases. From this statistic, one could state that influenza is at least four times more deadly than Covid … at least among healthy young and middle-aged sailors. 

It should also be emphasized that sailors on all three vessels lived with the virus in extremely-cramped quarters with the virus circulating for weeks or months. In other words, it’s hard to produce a more virulent environment for virus spread.

In the opinion of this journalist, neither of these two findings have received the attention they warrant. Study findings which should have been Page-1 news around the world have barely been cited by researchers, with most members of the public probably unaware of these two narrative-shifting findings.

See top graph … Figure 3 from the Roosevelt antibody study presents information on the number of sailors who tested positive for antibodies between April 20-24. The two cases on the far right would pre-date the first confirmed Covid case in America. At least six antibody-positive crew members had symptoms before the ship’s port-of-call in Vietnam (March 5-9, 2020). The study does not address how these sailors – isolated and confined to the ship for many weeks – contracted the virus. Note also that most of the antibody positive sailors either did not test positive with a PCR test or had yet to receive a PCR test, which begs the questions of how and when these crew members contracted the virus their positive antibody tests say they’d definitely contracted. None of the positive sailors were interviewed by CDC or Navy officials.

Roosevelt Antibody Study key findings …

On April 20-24, 382 Roosevelt crew members “voluntarily” donated blood for antibody tests. (Positive results on an antibody test show/suggest “prior infection.”)

Quick Comments: 

  • Three hundred eighty two crew members is only 7.9 percent of the crew of approximately 4,800. 
  • Earlier reports said the Navy and CDC were going to test at least 1,000 crew members for antibodies. I’ve never learned why the study was downsized dramatically or wasn’t made mandatory, which one thinks might have been the case in an alleged medical crisis and worldwide pandemic. 

– As I will show in a future article, 98.1 percent of the crew of the Charles de Gaulle were tested for antibodies.

60, 62 or “nearly” 66 percent infected …

All three figures are used in the Roosevelt study, with 60 percent being the most common percentage. From the study:

N = 382 – Survey respondents/participants

N = 228 positive (antibody) ELISA result (59.7 percent)

N = 238 had “previous or current Covid infection” (62 percent)

One sentence in the study reads:

Nearly two thirds of persons in this sample had positive ELISA test results, which indicate previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2.”

In my opinion, these could be labelled as ‘confirmed’ cases …

In several places in the study, authors define a “current or previous infection.” For example:

  • “Current or previous SARS-CoV-2 infection is defined as a positive RT-PCR test result or a reactive antibody result determined by testing performed at CDC laboratories on specimens collected during April 20–24, 2020.”

“… (4) Previous or current SARS-CoV-2 infection was defined as a positive real-time RT-PCR result or positive ELISA (antibody) result.”

Quick comments:

Although different semantic interpretations might be offered, in my opinion, the above language says at least two Roosevelt cases should be “confirmed” as “early cases” that happened before the first “confirmed” case in America.

That is, all 228 sailors who tested positive via an ELISA antibody tests satisfied the definition of individuals who had “current or previous” Covid infections. This figure would include the two sailors who tested positive and experienced Covid symptoms 98 and 99 days before receiving their antibody tests. 

As far as I’m aware, this might be the only CDC study that defines a Covid case as someone who tested positive on an ELISA antibody test.

This language is extremely significant as hundreds of other early cases in the world could/might be “confirmed” if the same definitions used in the Roosevelt study also applied to these likely early cases.

Move the birthday of Covid spread back several months …

If this criteria applied to other likely/possible cases, the timeline of the “start date” of virus spread would be moved back at least three months. The first “confirmed cases” would be November 2019, or October 2019 if not September 2019 … but certainly not January 20, 2020.

For example, I’ve identified many Americans – as well as citizens from France, Italy, and the UK – who tested positive via antibody tests (including several/many who tested positive with ELISA antibody tests). These possible/likely cases include many citizens who experienced Covid symptoms in late 2019. None of these citizens have been “confirmed” as Covid cases.

Almost all other studies define or confirm Covid cases as individuals who tested positive via a PCR test. As almost no PCR tests were administered to Americans prior to March 2020, it is literally impossible to “confirm” an early case via the “PCR-positive” confirmation protocol.

Again, modifying the definition of “previously-infected” individuals to include those who tested positive via an antibody test should be viewed as very significant and represents a stark departure from other CDC statements.

Symptoms and symptom onset dates matter …

Significantly, Roosevelt study participants filled out questionnaires, providing information on when sailors experienced Covid/ILI symptoms. Participants reported what symptoms they experienced, how many symptoms and, most significantly, self-reported dates where they first experienced these symptoms. (Most antibody-positive sailors experienced at least four symptoms; many experienced six or more symptoms).

The data that immediately jumped out to me (but apparently no one else) was the two crew members who self-reported symptoms 99 and 98 days before donating blood for this serology test (donation dates were April 20-24, 2020). 

Working backward from April 20-24, 2020, the crew member who experienced symptoms 99 days before donating blood would have been symptomatic January 12-16, 2020. The sailor who experienced symptoms 98 days earlier would have been symptomatic January 13-17.


Inexplicably, Navy and CDC medical personnel did not interview either of these sailors, both of whom could/would have qualified as “case zero” in America. In fact, no sailor in the survey was questioned about their symptoms.

From study: “… although the date of any symptom onset was collected, information on timing, duration, and severity of individual symptoms was not collected.”

“Symptom onset” typically occurs two to 14 days after infection. This means these two sailors, if they had Covid, were infected even earlier in January. For the sailor who experienced symptoms 99 days earlier, the infection date could have been between December 29, 2019 and January 15, 2020. 

While the ship left San Diego January 17, 2020, I’ve yet to learn when sailors began to board the ship. My assumption is sailors boarded the ship at least several days before the ship got underway to prepare for its deployment, which lasted approximately 70 days.

If any crew members were symptomatic or infected with Covid on or before January 17, these crew members would almost certainly have begun to infect any “close contacts” who didn’t already have natural immunity. 

(The possibility that some crew members might have already been infected as early as November 2019, or perhaps even earlier, does not seem to have been considered by any public health official or journalist. At least to me, the Red Cross antibody study proves that residents of California had been infected by November 2019. If this was the case with some Roosevelt crew members, these crew members likely came on board the ship with natural immunity.)

In my opinion, if the CDC and Navy had tested the vast majority of the crew for antibodies, and these crew members had also filled out symptom questionnaires, the number of possible cases predating the first confirmed case in America would have been much larger than two possible American “case zeroes.” 

That is, by severely limiting the size of this antibody study, CDC and Navy authors limited the number of other possible early cases the study might have identified.

At least four other crew members who tested positive for antibodies (six in total) self-reported symptoms before the ship arrived at port in Vietnam Mach 5-9. 

Twelve crew members who later tested positive for antibodies self-reported symptoms 41 or more days before giving blood for their antibody tests. Again, if the study size was much larger, many more sailors would have likely reported “symptom onset” dates before the ship’s port of call in Vietnam, as well as other crew members who were perhaps infected prior to January 20, 2020.


I can’t say the Navy/CDC “concealed evidence” of early spread because the information that made me suspect this is included in the study. Indeed, the key information is depicted on a graph (“Figure 3”) of the study. Also, text in the study makes this conclusion almost impossible to miss. For example: 

“Among 12 participants with positive ELISA results >40 days after symptom onset, eight maintained positive microneutralization test results, including two participants who were tested >3 months after symptom onset.”

The Roosevelt antibody study, which was published online on June 8, was covered by prominent news organizations, including the New York Times and Reuters. The New York Times actually put the key information in its sub-headline:

Headline: “After Outbreak on Carrier Roosevelt, Many Have Antibodies”

Sub-headline: “A C.D.C. study found that some sailors showed protection against the coronavirus three months after the onset of symptoms”

FWIWthe sub-headline is not entirely accurate as 99 and 98 days would be “more than three months” after onset of symptoms. I mention the Times’ headline only to point out that no Times’ journalist or editor seems to have figured out that the first known case in America could have been a member of this ship (although the newspaper’s own headline should have told them this).

The story also quotes the study’s corresponding author Daniel Payne, who highlighted the fact that some crew members had apparently had Covid antibodies for several months. (I’ve requested an interview with Dr. Payne).

“This is a promising indicator of immunity,” said Daniel C. Payne, an epidemiologist and one of the lead authors of the study … “We don’t know how long-lasting, for sure, but it is promising.”

Previous stories mentioned the growing number of “positive cases” on the ship, but none reported anywhere close to 60 percent of the crew being infected. For example, by April 21 (one day after the antibody tests had begun), 678 sailors had tested positive via a PCR test (14.1 percent of the crew).

Reuters’ journalist correctly highlighted the fact that the study’s “results could indicate a far higher presence of the coronavirus.”

However, the journalist seems to deamplify the significance of such a large percentage of positives with this latter text:

“… one of the Navy officials said that may not be the case because of the way the study was carried out … The outbreak investigation did not encompass the entire crew, and the results of this study cannot be generalized to the entire crew,” the official said.

The article later includes this disclaimer: “Medical groups, such as the American Medical Association, have warned that serology tests can lead to false positives.”

Like all journalists who wrote articles about this study, the Reuters’ reporter never asked why the project didn’t encompass the entire crew nor does this journalist question the assumed predicate (that a larger sample might have produced lower antibody-positive percentages than the study/sample that was performed. As noted, a sample of almost 100 percent of French sailors produced the identical percentage of antibody positives – 60 percent).

Nor does the journalist challenge the AMA’s statement that antibody tests “can” produce “false positives.” The author and the AMA could have noted, accurately, that serology tests “can” also lead to false negatives

That is, if antibody tests are producing more “false negatives” than “false positives,” serology “prevalence” percentages in many/most antibody studies might be even higher than reported.

Such (requisite?) sentences support my belief that any antibody test that suggests much higher percentages of “early” cases will be maligned or spun as being somehow insignificant.

One of the most disturbing take-aways from my “early spread” research is that, as far as I can tell, 100 percent of mainstream or corporate journalists are not going to investigate credible evidence of early spread.

I understand why government and public health officials might want to cover up evidence that their “virus-origins” narrative was wrong all along, but I don’t understand why the “skeptical, watchdog” press would participate in what must be a massive conspiracy to conceal the truth.

I’ve harvested too much previously-unreported information from my research into Navy antibody studies to include in one article. Future articles will highlight other findings which have received little or no scrutiny to date – findings I believe deserve scrutiny, even if belated.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Anyone with relevant information about the outbreak on the Roosevelt or any Naval vessel can email the author at:  

I would be very interested to hear from any Roosevelt crew members. Confidentiality will be protected.

Reposted from the author’s Substack

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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