The Navy may reinstate the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who was removed from his post after he pleaded for help with the coronavirus outbreak aboard his aircraft carrier, according to a report.
Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, is considering whether to reinstate Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed from his command after his letter to top brass was leaked to a San Francisco newspaper, Defense Department officials told The New York Times.
“No final decisions have been made,” Gilday’s spokesman Cmdr. Nate Christensen told The Times in a statement on Wednesday, adding that the admiral was reviewing the findings of a preliminary probe into the events involving Crozier’s removal.
Crozier, who also tested positive for COVID-19, was dismissed by then-Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly after sounding the alarm about the outbreak in the leaked memo.
Modly later resigned after delivering a speech to the Roosevelt’s crew on the ship’s public-address system in which he slammed Crozier as “stupid” for not realizing his message would be leaked.
Modly’s trip to Guam reportedly cost taxpayers $243,000.
President Trump has indicated that he may reconsider Crozier’s firing after saying the captain “had a bad day” and had “made a mistake” in writing the memo.
But it remained unclear how Trump would view a move to reinstate Crozier, or when such action would be taken, according to the newspaper.
Crozier was cheered by his crew as he left the carrier, which is docked at Guam while 615 crew members have tested positive for the illness and one has died.
He was reassigned to a shore position in San Diego but remains under quarantine on Guam.