US warship captain ‘relieved of duty’ over COVID-19 memo

A US aircraft carrier captain has been sacked after sending a scathing letter that was leaked to the public asking Navy leadership for stronger measures to control a coronavirus outbreak onboard.

Captain Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, said in a memo that the vessel did not have enough quarantine and isolation facilities.

US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the commander exercised poor judgement by not safeguarding the memo from being released outside the chain of command.

“It raised alarm bells unnecessarily,” Mr Modly said.

Inside the US hospital ship Comfort, which has docked in New York

Hospital ship prepares for NYC patients

More than 100 personnel on the ship have tested positive for coronavirus so far.

In the four-page letter, Cmdr Crozier described a bleak situation aboard the nuclear-powered carrier as more sailors tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory virus.

He called for “decisive action”, removing over 4,000 sailors from the ship and isolating them.

More from Covid-19

  • Coronavirus: Cruise ship with suspected patients on board allowed to dock in Florida

  • Coronavirus: Social distancing may have already reduced infection rate

  • Coronavirus: Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveils new measures to SME loan scheme

  • Coronavirus: Top Gun: Maverick hits the brakes as COVID-19 delays release date

  • Clap for our carers: Britons applaud health workers for second week in a row

  • Coronavirus: Pharmaceutical boss says two patients prepared for trials of vaccine

Listen to Divided States on Apple podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Spreaker

He said that unless the Navy acted immediately, it would be failing to properly safeguard “our most trusted asset – our sailors”.

preview image

US’s dependence on China ‘cruel irony’

The letter put the Pentagon on the defensive about whether it was doing enough to keep the warship’s crew members safe, and alarmed the families of those aboard the vessel, whose home port is in San Diego.

The carrier was in the Pacific when the Navy reported its first coronavirus case a week ago.

It has since docked at US Naval Base Guam on the southern end of the American island territory in the western Pacific.

Mark Gibson

Graduates in Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 1990. Move to Los Angeles California in 2004. Specialized in Internet journalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *