The Navy captain who was removed after he sounded the alarm about a coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier he commanded, has tested positive for the virus, according to a report published on Sunday.
Capt. Brett Crozier began showing symptoms of coronavirus before he was removed from the USS Theodore Roosevelt last Thursday, the New York Times reported, citing two of his Naval Academy classmates.
Crozier sent a letter to Navy leaders urging them to quarantine the crew and have the ship disinfected while it sat in port in Guam.
His letter became public after the San Francisco Chronicle obtained a copy.
Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly said Crozier was dismissed because he lost confidence in the captain’s ability to command the ship.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he backed Modly’s decision.
“I think acting Secretary Modly made a very tough decision, a decision that I support. It was based on his view that he had lost faith and confidence in the captain, based on his actions. It was supported by Navy leadership,” Esper said on Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He added that there were 155 coronavirus cases among the sailors of the Theodore Roosevelt and that more than half the ship’s crew had been tested.