USA navy captain fired for voicing virus concern tests positive

Trump Muzzles Captain

Captain Brett Crozier, who was removed from command of USA aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt over a letter on the subject of the coronavirus, has tested positive for COVID-19, media reports.

Brett Crozier began exhibiting symptoms before he was removed from the warship on Thursday, the Times reported, citing two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier's who are close to him and his family.

The captain was loudly cheered by his sailors when he exited the ship after he was relieved of command, videos showed.

"He was either A: too naive, or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this", Modly said of Capt. Brett Crozier.

It stated a need for urgent intervention as the ship's sailors "are not at war".

Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said on Sunday that an investigation into Crozier's actions was ongoing.

President Donald Trump has stated that he supported Secretary Modly's decision to relieve the captain of duties.

"And the letter was all over the place".

Crozier's removal may have violated protective disclosure laws, which would have permitted him to report "gross mismanagement" by the Navy, said whistleblower attorney Stephen Kohn in a statement emailed to Stars and Stripes on Friday.

"I think acting Secretary (Thomas) Modly made a very tough decision - a decision that I support". "I thought it was bad what he did".

When Crozier sent his five-page letter, dated Monday, March 30, he copied it to 10 or 20 correspondents within the Navy hierarchy, but not to his immediate superior, Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, commander of the carrier battle group that included the Theodore Roosevelt. "It creates a panic, and it creates the perception that the Navy is not on the job, the government's not on the job, and it's just not true". I considered how the president felt like he needed to get involved in Navy decisions. Fifteen days after the U.S.S. Roosevelt departed the Da Nang port, three sailors tested positive and marked the first reports of COVID-19 being present on a US military vessel at sea. Modly acknowledged Crozier's popularity with the crew in his remarks to the sailors. The letter was subsequently published by the San Francisco Chronicle.

His firing comes amid pressure on the military as it seeks to step up its response to the coronavirus outbreak, including sending two Navy hospital ships in NY and Los Angeles.

Notably, the defense of the firing offered by senior Pentagon officials has centered around Captain Crozier not following the chain of command in writing his letter, which found its way to newspapers.

Democratic lawmakers in both the Senate and the House asked for a probe into the matter, while presidential contender Joe Biden hailed Crozier as being "faithful to his duty - both to his sailors and his country".

"It's close to criminal the way they're dealing with this guy", the former vice-president told ABC's This Week.



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