Former acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly's trip to Guam to lecture sailors who gave a roaring sendoff to their fired captain cost taxpayers a whopping $243,151.65. Modly, who resigned Tuesday, flew 35 hours on a C-37B at a cost of $6,946.19 per hour, USA Today reports. Once in Guam, he used a loudspeaker to insult the former captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt in front of the crew. Days earlier, Modly had fired Brett Crozier over a letter, leaked to the media, in which he asked for assistance in containing a coronavirus outbreak on his ship. While Modly later apologized for the speech, he did so at the request of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, reports Reuters.
"The president should turn his ire on the brain trust that allowed Modly to travel to Guam at the cost of nearly $250,000—a trip that only made the situation aboard the USS Roosevelt exponentially worse while still failing to address the needs of the crew, and the fleet, to protect itself amid the COVID-19 outbreak," says Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., per USA Today. This week, Trump praised Modly as someone "who places the greater good above all else." Modly is in quarantine after visiting the ship, where at least 286 personnel have tested positive for COVID-19, per Reuters. Per USA Today, it's unclear if the five crew members who flew with him are in quarantine also. (Read more Navy stories.)