Navy secretary resigns
by Harvest Prude
Posted 4/08/20, 11:07 am
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly fired the captain of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier, calling him “too naive or too stupid” to have command in front of the crew. Modly resigned on Tuesday after issuing an apology. Defense Secretary Mark Esper appointed Army Undersecretary Jim McPherson to succeed Modly.
What sparked the dustup? After three USS Theodore Roosevelt crew members tested positive for COVID-19, Capt. Brett Crozier sent a memo on March 30 asking for 90 percent of the more than 4,000-person crew to leave and quarantine on shore for two weeks, as well as for more resources to fight the disease. After the letter leaked to the press, Modly fired Crozier, saying he undercut the Navy’s chain of command by sending the memo to more than 20 people. More than 230 people on the Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19 since late March, and nearly 3,000 sailors are disembarking to slow the spread.
Dig deeper: Read Crozier’s memo.
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Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.