(NEW YORK) — The captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, is being relieved of duty over the leak of his letter which requested that most of his ship’s crew of 5,000 be taken off the ship to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.
Thomas Modly, the acting secretary of the Navy, said Thursday that he couldn’t say if Capt. Brett Crozier leaked the letter himself, but noted that the letter was emailed to 20-30 people, which provided an opportunity for the letter to be leaked.
Crozier wrote the letter to Navy leadership and Wednesday they said he would not be disciplined for having expressed his concerns through the chain of command.
However, Modly left the door open for discipline if it was proven that Crozier had leaked the letter himself.
Crozier’s letter created a firestorm of controversy after it was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.
In the letter, Crozier also asked that the sailors be moved from communal facilities on Guam to individual housing to conform with coronavirus safety guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Wednesday, the Navy announced its plans to move 2,700 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt to quarters in Guam as the number of sailors testing positive for the novel coronavirus had increased to 93.
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