The Navy is expected to announce it has relieved the captain who sounded the alarm about an outbreak of COVID-19 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to two U.S. officials.
Capt. Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, will be relieved of his command, but keep his rank and remain in the Navy.
Crozier raised the alarm earlier this week that sailors on the ship need to be quarantined to stop the spread of the virus. His plea for assistance quickly made headlines.
Crozier sent a letter to the Navy on Monday begging for help addressing the coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, which was forced to dock in Guam last week. The ship leadership began testing everyone on board. By Wednesday, there were 93 positive test results and more than 1,000 people had departed the ship into isolation on Guam. In total, 2,700 people are expected to disembark the ship this week, with a smaller crew remaining to maintain the ship.
The move is expected to be announced in a briefing by Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly Thursday evening. The official reason for Crozier’s relief of duty is a loss of trust and confidence, according to the officials who spoke to NBC News.
The Navy confirmed on March 27 that 750 sailors aboard the Theodore Roosevelt are stationed at NAS Lemoore.
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