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Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly slammed the now-ousted captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt as "too naive or too stupid" to be a commanding officer during recent remarks made to the remaining sailors aboard the ship, multiple sources confirmed to Fox News.
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Modly fired Navy Captain Brett Crozier last week for sounding alarm bells about the need to offload the sailors onboard the USS Roosevelt due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Crozier, 50, had authored a letter warning that an outbreak of the sometimes-deadly virus had created a dire situation on the carrier. The letter ended up in the hands of a San Francisco Chronicle reporter who first reported its contents last week.
"If he didn’t think, in my opinion, that this information wasn’t going to get out into the public, in this day and information age that we live in, then he was either A, too naive or too stupid to be a commanding officer of a ship like this, Modly said of Crozier, according to a copy of the remarks obtained by Fox News. "The alternative is that he did this on purpose."
“Think about that when you cheer the man of the ship who exposed you to that...I understand you love the guy. It’s good that you love him. But you’re not required to love him,” Modly said, adding the letter penned by Crozier had “sensitive information" regarding the condition of the aircraft carrier.
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Crozier, who was beloved by many sailors for advocating for their safety, tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend based on a test he was given before he left the ship. Viral video captured hundreds of sailors cheering Crozier as he departed the ship to await reassignment by the Navy.
Navy officials said some 155 sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19. The carrier has been docked in Guam. That's 40 percent of all Navy confirmed coronavirus cases. Of the crew of 5,000, the Navy has removed 1,800 sailors from the ship. Half the crew has been tested for the virus.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.
Fox News' Jennifer Griffin, Lucas Tomlinson and Robert Gearty controbuted to this report.