PortandTerminal.com, April 4, 2020
At least 155 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID19, so far according to the Navy’s latest update.
GUAM – As of Saturday, 44 percent of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt crew had been tested for COVID-19, with 155 positive cases so far.
1,548 Sailors have moved ashore to hotels in Guam. As testing continues, the ship will keep enough sailors on board to sustain essential services and sanitize the ship in port.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly removed the commanding officer of the carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt from command, citing a written appeal for assistance with an outbreak of COVID-19 on board.
The move came shortly after Commanding Officer Captain Brett E. Crozier wrote and distributed a letter calling for 4,000 members of the carrier’s crew to be disembarked in Guam, thereby reducing the potential that they might be exposed to the virus.
Crozier expressed concern that it would not be possible to contain the disease in the cramped environment of a modern warship.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said he removed the carrier’s commander, Capt. Brett Crozier, because his letter “created panic on the ship” and “misrepresented the facts.”
According to Acting Secretary Modly, the letter was sent via unsecured email to multiple recipients, and it was subsequently leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Modly accused Crozier of bypassing the chain of command, failing to ensure that the communication remained secure and undermining operational security. In addition, Modly claimed that the Navy was already acting on the captain’s requests prior to the memo.
A petition on Change.org to have Capt. Crozier reinstated has already gathered over 230 thousand signatures.
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