The U.S Navy’s top officials on Friday recommended that Capt. Brett E. Crozier should be reinstated as the commander of the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).
The recommendation was given by the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Admiral Michael M. Gilday, and the Acting Navy Secretary James McPherson to the Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. Secretary Esper has reportedly asked for more time to consider whether to approve the reinstatement.
Capt. Crozier was relieved by the then Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly on April 2 for writing a letter about the COVID-19 outbreak on the aircraft carrier which was later leaked to the press.
San Fransisco Chronicle was first to report on the four-page letter by Capt. Brett Crozier in which he requested the Navy officials for resources to allow isolation of his entire crew and avoid possible deaths in a situation he described as quickly deteriorating.
According to the Modly, Captain Crozier is relieved not because he wrote the letter and sent it up through the chain of command but because it was shared with at least 20 people before it was leaked in the media.
The events culminated with the resignation of the Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly on April 7. Modly submitted his resignation after calling Capt. Crozier, “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew.
As of April 23, almost 100% of USS Theodore Roosevelt crewmembers have been tested for COVID-19, with 840 total positive and 4,098 negative results (a small number of results are still pending). Of the total cases, 88 Sailors have recovered, and 4,234 Sailors have moved ashore.
Four Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier are in U.S. Naval Hospital Guam being treated for COVID-19 symptoms.