The Navy is expected to announce the relief of duty of a captain who raised the alarm about a quick-spreading coronavirus outbreak aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to NBC News.
Capt. Brett Crozier, commander of the ship, wrote a letter to Navy leadership Monday painting a grim picture of the ship’s conditions while docked in Guam as the virus spread among the sailors. He called for “decisive action” including removing a majority of personnel from the ship and isolating them for two weeks.
“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” he said. “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”
The letter was leaked to the media, putting the Pentagon on the defensive about whether they were doing enough to keep the sailors safe.
“It’s disappointing to hear him say that. However, at the same time, I know that that’s not the truth,” said acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly in response to Crozier’s bleak conclusion. He added, per Reuters, that if Crozier was the one who leaked the letter to the media, it “would be something that would violate the principles of good order and discipline.”
Per NBC, the official reason for Crozier’s relief of duty will be “loss of trust and confidence.”