Coronavirus: Ousted US Navy captain Brett Crozier tests positive for Covid-19

Defence Secretary Mark Esper ​doubled down on the justification of Crozier’s firing on Sunday

David Maclean
New York
Sunday 05 April 2020 19:23 BST
Coronavirus: Trump supports sacking of Navy captain who raised concerns over crew

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Former US Navy captain Brett Crozier – who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt after highlighting conditions on his ship – has tested positive for Covid-19, according to reports.

Crozier was relieved of his command on Thursday after his superiors lost confidence in his ability to lead, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Earlier this week Crozier sent a letter to the Navy pleading for help with the outbreak of coronavirus aboard the ship, which was forced to dock in Guam last week.

“We are not at war,” Crozier wrote in a four-page letter to bosses detailing how the ship did not have enough quarantine facilities. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset – our sailors.”

The letter was leaked to the media putting the Pentagon on the defensive as to whether they were doing enough for the crew.

On Sunday The New York Times cited two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family as confirming his diagnosis.

He had reportedly been began exhibiting symptoms before he was removed from the warship.

A Navy spokesman said Crozier has been reassigned to the headquarters of the Naval Air Forces Pacific command in San Diego.

He is currently in planned quarantine. The Navy has not commented on the reported diagnosis.

On Sunday Defence Secretary Mark Esper ​doubled down on the justification of Crozier’s firing, telling CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday that the dismissal was an “example of how leaders are held accountable.” An investigation into his actions is still ongoing.

Mr Trump also criticised Crozier’s letter, claiming that the former captain “shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.”

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