The Navy ordered a deeper investigation Wednesday into the decision to remove former Capt. Brett Crozier from his position after he sounded the alarm over the coronavirus-infected USS Theodore Roosevelt.
New acting Navy Secretary James McPherson said that there are “unanswered questions” regarding the decision to remove Crozier. He was fired from his position after writing a letter begging the Navy in March to help crew members onboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
These questions “can only be answered by a deeper review,” McPherson said, according to Politico. (RELATED: USS Roosevelt Sailors Cheer In Support Of Fired Commander As He Exits The Coronavirus-Infected Ship)
“Therefore, I am directing [Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike] Gilday to conduct a follow-on command investigation,” McPherson said, according to Politico. “This investigation will build on the good work of the initial inquiry to provide a more fulsome understanding of the sequence of events, actions, and decisions of the chain of command surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt.”
Former acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned after delivering a widely-criticized speech onboard the aircraft carrier. While speaking to sailors, Modly condemned Crozier, a speech that was first reported April 6 by the Daily Caller.
Gilday recommended Crozier be reinstated to his former position on the USS Theodore Roosevelt earlier in April, Military.com reported. This wider investigation will delay Crozier’s return by at least a month, Politico reported. It also leaves the option for Gilday’s recommendation to be dismissed.
The Navy reported 940 current coronavirus cases among crew members of the ship as of Tuesday, according to Politico. Twenty-nine have recovered and one died.