Fired captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt tests positive for coronavirus as it’s revealed top US commanders ‘were opposed to his dismissal but were OVERRULED by Navy secretary because Trump wanted him gone over letter’
- Capt. Brett Crozier has tested positive for COVID-19, according to close friends
- Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly decided to remove Crozier on Thursday
- Crozier wrote letter to Navy high command about coronavirus on USS Roosevelt
- He demanded Navy evacuate aircraft carrier due to an outbreak on board
- Crozier’s letter was eventually leaked to the news media on Monday
- Military chiefs initially began investigation into the leak of Crozier’s letter
- Acting secretary reportedly fired him immediately against colleagues’ advice
- Modly is reported to have been told that the president wanted Crozier gone
- Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of Joint Chiefs, reportedly backed military probe
- Top naval officer, Adm. Michael Gilday, is also said to have opposed termination
- But they were reportedly overruled by Modly, who announced firing on Thursday
- Video online shows sailors giving rousing salute to Modly as he left ship in Guam
UK Daily Mail: Capt. Brett Crozier (above) has tested positive for the coronavirus days after he was relieved of command of the USS Roosevelt for a letter begging the Navy to evacuate the ship due to a COVID-19 outbreak
Captain Brett Crozier, the officer who was relieved of command of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt after his letter warning of a coronavirus outbreak on board the ship leaked to the press, has tested positive for COVID-19.
Two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier who remain close to the family revealed the diagnosis to The New York Times on Sunday.
The classmates told the Times that Crozier began to show symptoms of the disease before he was dismissed by Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly on Thursday.
A spokesperson for the Navy told the Times on Sunday that Crozier has been reassigned to the headquarters of the Naval Air Forces Pacific command in San Diego.
Before resuming his duties, however, Crozier must complete a quarantine period first.
News of Crozier’s diagnosis comes on the heels of a report claiming that the top US military commander and the most senior naval officer were opposed to Crozier’s dismissal but were overruled by the Trump administration.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations, believed that the Navy should have allowed an investigation into the letter written by Crozier to run its course.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper initially sided with the officers, according to The Washington Post.
But Esper eventually yielded to Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, who favored immediately dismissing Crozier because he believed that is what President Trump wanted.
General Mark Milley (left), the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Admiral Michael Gilday (right), the chief of naval operations, were initially opposed to the decision to fire the captain of the USS Roosevelt after his letter warning of a coronavirus outbreak leaked to the press