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Coronavirus: Navy removes captain who raised alarm to protect his crew from dying

5 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Friday, April 03 2020 Apr 3, 2020 April 03, 2020 8:22 AM April 03, 2020 in News
Source: BBC
Capt, Brett Crozier was fired for publicly requesting assistance as his ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was found to be carrying at least 100 crew members infected with coronavirus.

A US Navy commander has been removed after speaking out regarding the Navy's lack of response to unsafe conditions aboard his vessel.

The BBC reports that the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt has been removed after saying the US Navy was not doing enough to halt a coronavirus outbreak onboard the aircraft carrier.

Capt Brett Crozier sent a letter to his superiors, urging them to act and prevent his men crew from dying outside of wartime.  

But acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the commander displayed "extremely poor judgement".

At least 100 people aboard the vessel have been infected, reports say.

On Thursday, Modly told reporters Capt Crozier was being fired for allegedly leaking the letter to the media.

He said the letter "created the impression the Navy was not responding to his questions".

"It creates the perception the Navy is not on the job; the government is not on the job. That's just not true."

But not all agree that Crozier's dismissal was a prudent choice. 

In a statement, Democratic leaders of the House Armed Services Committee said: "While Captain Crozier clearly went outside the chain of command, his dismissal at this critical moment... is a destabilizing move that will likely put our service members at greater risk and jeopardize our fleet's readiness."

"Throwing the commanding officer overboard without a thorough investigation is not going to solve the growing crisis aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt."

As of Friday, April 3, uninfected members of the ship's more than 4,000 crew are now being quarantined in Guam after the governor of the US island territory in the western Pacific Ocean said they could stay as long as they had no interactions with locals.

Until now, the sailors had been restricted to the naval base’s pier.

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