Acting Secretary of United States Navy Thomas Modly has fired the captain of the aircraft carrier, Brett Crozier on April 2 over “extremely poor judgement” for creating panic and sending a four-page memo asking for help on behalf of his sailors who were witnessing growing cases of deadly coronavirus. The US navy ship, Theodore, Roosevelt’s commander had alerted the authorities and pleaded for a “decisive action” to help the sailors amid the ongoing crisis of the pandemic and had cited the lack of protective equipment and facility to quarantine those infected of COVID-19.
However, Modly not only said that Crozier sent the letter over non-secure, unclassified email but added that the memo was sent outside of the chain of command. The acting US Navy Secretary said in the press conference that after he analysed the entire situation that arose on Roosevelt, he was unable to reach any other conclusion except that Crozier “allowed the complexity of his challenge” with COVID-19 outbreak on the US Navy Ship to “overwhelm his ability to act professionally”. Modly further added acting professionally was needed the most and said, “We should expect more from the commanding officers” of their aircraft carriers.
The acting US Navy Secretary even said that he has "lost confidence" in Crozier’s ability to lead that warship. Modly also credited Crozier’s actions to create an image among the friends and family members of the sailors on the ship that the necessary action was only taken in response to the memo. However, according to Modly, that was not the case.
According to official website, Modly said, “I did not come to this decision lightly. I have no doubt in my mind that Captain Crozier did what he thought was in the best interests of the safety and well-being of his crew. Unfortunately, it did the opposite.”
“It unnecessarily raised alarms with the families of our Sailors and Marines with no plan to address those concerns. It raised concerns about the operational capabilities and operational security of the ship that could have emboldened our adversaries to seek advantage, and it undermined the chain of command who had been moving and adjusting as rapidly as possible to get him the help he needed,” he added.
The US Navy on April 1 said that it is evacuating personnel from USS Theodore Roosevelt after numerous sailors tested positive for coronavirus. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas B. Modly in a statement informed that the nuclear-powered warship has 93 positive cases on it, with 86 of those service members exhibiting symptoms and seven having no symptoms. According to the statement, 593 have tested negative on the ship out of the 1,300 that have been tested so far and some of the results are yet to come.
According to Modly, the US Navy has already evacuated 1,000 personnel and expects to have about 2,700 of them off the ship. Additional space in Guam was sought immediately, and progress is being made, Modly reportedly said. As per reports, prior to the deployment of the ship the World Health Organisation (WHO) had identified fewer than 20 COVID-19 cases. The Navy has accelerated testing and is deep-cleaning all the spaces on the ship, the statement read.