Sailor On Ousted Navy Captain’s Ship Dies From COVID-19

Aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) arrives at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, April 27, 2018. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
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April 13, 2020 9:38 a.m.

The Navy announced on Monday morning that a crew member on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the ship formerly led by Captain Brett Crozier before his ouster, had died from COVID-19 earlier in the day.

The sailor, whose name is currently being withheld, tested positive for the coronavirus on March 30 and was moved to the ICU on Naval Base Guam last Thursday, according to the Navy.

On the day the sailor had tested positive, Crozier wrote a letter to Navy leadership pleading for assistance on the outbreak of COVID-19 on his ship, which had infected more than 100 members of his crew at that point.

“We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” the captain wrote. “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset our sailors.”

Shortly after Crozier sent the memo, then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly fired the captain and bashed him as being “too naive or too stupid” for the position in a profanity-laced rant in front of the USS Theodore Roosevelt crew.

Modly resigned several days later, and Defense Secretary Mark Esper signaled that he was open to reinstating Crozier after the Navy’s investigation into the captain’s ouster.

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