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Navy confirms fall of Captain of Virus-Racked Provider


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Editor's Note: We make part of our coronavirus pandemic reporting free for non-subscribers. You can read these articles here. You can also listen to our weekly Corona Virus podcast "Don & # 39; t Touch Your Face" and subscribe to our newsletter here.

The U.S. Navy will not use the former skipper of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, Captain Brett Crozier. who was released in March after raising the alarm abroad about the outbreak of the corona virus, the senior civil and military official told the Navy on Friday.

The Navy will also not proceed to the promotion of counter-administrator Stu Baker, the senior officer on board the Roosevelt, to a two-star rank. Adm. Bob Burke, the deputy chief of naval operations, led the study. Crozier cannot be ordered further.

Mike Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, admitted that Crozier and Burke, commanding the strike group, faced “unprecedented” challenges in fighting the virus on board the narrow aircraft carrier.

"I believe that both Adm. Baker and Capt. Crozier fell short of our expectations," said Gilday. "If Captain Crozier were still in command today, I would relieve him."

“Neither managed to address the problem directly and assume responsibility. They were driven by the problem rather than making decisions, ”he added, although Crozier's initial distance from his post is not related to his ability to enforce social distancing policies.

The news marks a shift after an initial investigation led by Gilday recommended that Crozier be reinstated as the ship's skipper. The captain was originally released in April by then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who said he was blindsided by Crozier 's appeal, the majority of the ship' s crew working in the San Francisco Chronicle.

But Gilday – who said Crozier hadn't given his email to the press – owed the reverse recommendation to the narrow scope of the previous investigation, which focused mainly on the dismissed skipper's letter, not how that RooseveltThose responsible dealt with the outbreak of the virus.

When asked why the initial investigation was not broader, the naval leaders said the “emotional” nature of the case may have been in the way. "A rush for a judgment may have become part of the equation," said Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite, who added that the White House was not consulted during the in-depth review.

Modly himself resigned a few days later after traveling to speak to him RooseveltCrew in which the nuclear powered aircraft carrier was docked in Guam and delivered a broadside railing against Crozier. His successor, then-serving Navy Secretary James McPherson chosen prolong the investigation and delay Crozier's return to command. Braithwaite, former President Donald Trump's ambassador to Norway, was confirmed by the Senate in May as Secretary of the Navy.

Still, Gilday, who said that Crozier's email was "unnecessary," seemed to draw conclusions from the expanded investigation that reflected some of Modly's testimony when he fired Crozier at all. In April, Modly insisted that he give Crozier his direct phone number when the Navy Brass arranged beds for the crew in Guam when the shipwrecked letter was emailed to the ship.

"I was not impressed by the slow disembarkation [and] the lack of a plan," said Gilday. He said the skipper "exercised questionable judgment" by quarantining his crew too early. Crozier insisted that his crew get hotel rooms on the island, Gilday said, further slowing the process.

Defense Minister Mark Esper said in a statement on Friday afternoon that he believed the investigation was under way "thorough and fair and supported the Navy's results.

The arrival of the virus marked a significant operational shift for the U.S. Navy, as the Pentagon canceled aircraft carrier port calls after the crews likely brought the virus aboard the ship during a Vietnam port visit in March. But the Navy has no understanding of who "Patient Zero" was, Gilday said.

The ship finally launched in June after spending almost three months in Guam to cope with the falling load of the recovering seafarer. More than 25 percent of the RooseveltThe crew finally tested positive for COVID-19 and a service member on board the ship died of the disease. A subsequent study found that 60 percent of seafarers had antibodies to the virus, the spread of which led to new rules for social distance on board naval vessels.

"This study is in line with previous cruise ship outbreaks that have reported an undetected transmission of COVID-19 due to a mild and asymptomatic infection," the Navy reported in early June.

Crozier, who had contracted on board the COVID-19 ship, was later transferred to an administrative office in San Diego, but was allowed to maintain his rank. The decision should not be popular with the crew of the Rooseveltwhen Crozier received applause from his sailors when he last left the ship in April.

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