US warship captain ‘relieved of duty’ after sending dark COVID-19 memo

The memo called for Navy leadership to implement stronger measures to control the ships outbreak. The letter was leaked to the public and published in The San Francisco Chronicle.

Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt requested that most of the ship’s crew be sent home.

The 5,000 strong crew has been the site of an at-sea outbreak on the ship.

The letter read: “If required the USS Theodore Roosevelt would embark all assigned sailors, set sail, and be tray to fight and beat any adversary that dares challenge the US or our allies.

“The virus would certainly have an impact, but in combat we are willing to take certain risks that are not acceptable in peacetime.

“However, we are not at war, and therefore cannot allow a single sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily.”


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Cpt Crozier added that the warship was unable to comply with recommendations for social distancing, and called for “decisive action.”

He wrote: “With the exceptions of a handful of senior officer staterooms, none of the berthing onboard a warship is appropriate for quarantine or isolation.

“Thousands of ‘close contact’ Sailors require quarantine in accordance with guidance.

“The only effective method to preserve an individual’s health is total isolation for 14+ days in accordance with the NAVADMIN Individual hotel/barracks rooms with separate heads.”

More than 100 sailors and personnel on thew ship have tested positive for coronavirus.

US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said the commander exercised poor judgement in not safeguarding the letter from leaks and “raised alarm bells unnecessarily.”

The dismissed commander forwarded his scathing four-page letter to between 20 to 30 people, leaving it susceptible to leaks.

Mr Modly said: “I lost confidence in his ability to lead that warship as it continues to fight through this virus, get the crew healthy, so that it can continue to meet its national security requirements,


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The Navy Secretary stressed that the captains dismissal is not because of his concern for the sailors well being, but for the risk the letters leak has created.

“He’s being relieved because to me that demonstrated extremely poor judgment in the middle of a crisis,
“Because of what it’s done, it’s has created a firestorm.

“It’s created doubts about the ship’s ability to go to sea if it needs to.

“It’s created doubt among the families, about the health of their sailors.”

The US currently has 243,972 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

As of Thursday evening, 5,883 have died from the highly lethal virus.

New York remains the most afflicted state, with 93,053 cases of COVID-19.

The dismissed captain requested the crew be quarantined in Guam, which has 82 cases and has seen 3 deaths.

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