Capt. Brett Crozier of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has reportedly tested positive for coronavirus after he wrote a letter outlining his concerns of COVID-19 spreading on the ship and the Navy’s failures to properly address the matter.
His dismissal followed The San Francisco Chronicle publishing his letter to Navy leaders that stated the lack of resources the ship had in preventing further infections.
A Navy spokesman has not spoken publicly on the matter.
On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said there were only 155 COVID-19 patients on board the ship and they were mild to moderate cases. No one has been hospitalized thus far, and about half of the ship has been tested.
Esper doubled down on the justification of Crozier’s firing first presented by Thomas Modly, the acting secretary of the Navy. Modly previously stated that he lost confidence in Crozier’s ability to command the ship after he had sent the letter on an unclassified email system to at least 20 people, which meant Crozier didn't take action to ensure it would not leak.
Esper said Crozier’s dismissal was an “example of how leaders are held accountable.” An investigation into Crozier’s actions is still ongoing.
President Trump also slammed Crozier’s letter, claiming that the former captain “shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.”
“I thought it was terrible what he did, to write a letter,” he reportedly said. “This isn’t a class on literature. This is a captain of a massive ship that’s nuclear-powered... the letter was all over the place. That’s not appropriate. I don’t think that’s appropriate.”