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Sailors cheer captain forced to leave USS Roosevelt after exposing virus outbreak onboard

Sailors are filmed cheering for Captain Brett Crozier after he was ordered off the USS Roosevelt and stripped of command after a memo he sent pleading for help in containing the outbreak on his ship was leaked to the press.

The captain of the US Navy aircraft carrier facing a growing outbreak of the coronavirus on his ship was fired by Navy leaders who said he created a panic by sending his memo pleading for help to too many people.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Crozier “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis. He said the captain copied too many people on the memo, which was leaked to a California newspaper and quickly spread to many news outlets.

Modly’s decision to remove Crozier as ship commander was immediately condemned by members of the House Armed Services Committee, who called it a “destabilizing move” that will “likely put our service members at greater risk and jeopardize our fleet’s readiness.”

Modly told Pentagon reporters during an abruptly called press conference Thursday that Crozier should have gone directly to his immediate commanders, who were already moving to help the ship. And he said Crozier created a panic by suggesting 50 sailors could die.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, with a crew of nearly 5,000, is docked in Guam, and the Navy has said as many as 3,000 will be taken off the ship and quarantined by Friday. More than 100 sailors on the ship have tested positive for the virus, but none is hospitalized.

Source: AFP