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Navy Wants to Reinstate Carrier's Captain

Brett Crozier was removed over handling of coronavirus outbreak
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 24, 2020 4:27 PM CDT

(Newser) – After an investigation, the Navy has decided it wants Capt. Brett Crozier, back in charge of the USS Theodore Roosevelt. The recommendation to reinstate the captain, who was fired over his response to a coronavirus outbreak on his aircraft carrier, is under review at the Pentagon, and would have to be approved by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Politico reports. Top Navy officials said Friday they were surprised that Esper has asked for more time to consider the recommendation, per the New York Times; the officials expected him to leave the matter to them. Thomas Modly had resigned as acting secretary of the Navy after criticizing Crozier to the ship's crew. Modley's successor, James McPherson, endorsed reinstating the captain in a meeting Friday with Esper.

Crozier also contracted the virus and is in isolation in a base on Guam, where the Roosevelt docked March 27. Friends said he's recovering and is waiting for a test to show he's over the virus. All 4,938 crew members have been tested for the virus, with 840 of them testing positive. One sailor died, and four are in the Navy hospital there. In addition, some of the crew members who stayed aboard to clean the Roosevelt and who were about to be replaced have now tested positive, as well. Also on Friday, the Pentagon said a destroyer in the Caribbean, the Kidd, is headed into port after 18 of its crew members tested positive. (The Roosevelt's crew sided with its captain.)

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