The Acting Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Modly, addressed the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt days after the ship's commander, Captain Brett Crozier, was relieved of duty for sending a memo outside the chain of command. The memo, which detailed the failures of how the Navy was dealing with a coronavirus outbreak on the ship, was leaked the media.
Modly spoke to the crew over the PA system for just over 15 minutes. He blasted Crozier for sending the memo and called him "naive" and "stupid" for believing it would remain private after sending it to roughly 20 people.
"If he didn't think, in my opinion, that this information wasn't going to get out to the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naïve or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this," Modly said. "The alternative is that he did this on purpose."
Modly called Crozier's actions a "betrayal" to the Navy.
"It was a betrayal. And I can tell you one other thing: because he did that he put it in the public's forum and it is now a big controversy in Washington, DC," Modly said.
You can listen to his full address below.
173 sailors who were on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, including Crozier, have tested positive for COVID-19. The ship is stationed at Naval Base Guam and has a crew of around 5,000 sailors. Officials said that more than 60% of the crew has been tested. Anybody who tests negative will be allowed to leave the ship but must remain quarantined in Guam for the time being.
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
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