I have a hunch that my blog-readers are aware of how Commander Brett Crozier was relieved of his duties for publicly calling attention to an outbreak of coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt. In very recent developments, it was announced yesterday that Crozier has tested positive for the coronavirus. This morning, Reuters reported that the acting Navy Secretary suggested that Crozier was “stupid”:
Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly, in a surprise speech aboard a coronavirus-stricken U.S. aircraft carrier, told the crew that their fired captain may have been “stupid,” officials told Reuters on Monday.
Modly relieved Captain Brett Crozier of his command of the Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday after the public leak of a scathing letter in which Crozier called on the Navy for stronger action to halt the spread of the virus aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Modly made the speech over the weekend while the ship was docked in Guam, and it was broadcast on the ship’s speakers. The news was first reported by Reuters.
The Navy declined to comment.
The crew had already commented on Friday:
What has Representative McKinley had to say about this and how has the Wheeling Intelligencer covered this ongoing story?
Our local congressman, David McKinley, frequently meets with veterans and often claims their support. (For those outside the area, one of the Intelligencer’s most frequent McKinley campaign stories is covering (with pictures) these meetings.) So what does our congressman have to say about this? I found nothing in a web search.
Similarly, the Wheeling Intelligencer has also been silent on the story since it first broke. Today, the Intelligencer’s largest (over 1500 words) front-section story was on the 1918 flu pandemic but it couldn’t find room for even one of the Associated Press’ Crozier stories. Long-time readers of the Intelligencer know how, on days that celebrate veterans, they recycle old columns by old editors to honor veterans. That’s their lip-service; when the choice includes even a hint of criticism for the Trump administration, the paper, like our local congressman, remains silent.
Afternoon update -- More on the Navy Secretary's speech this morning
More media sources are getting involved in the story. From Task & Purpose:
Modly also chastised the Theodore Roosevelt’s crew for cheering Crozier when he left the ship, claiming the former commanding officer’s memo caused concern among residents of Guam, where the ship is currently docked.
“So think about that when you cheer the man of the ship who exposed you to that,” Moldy said. “I understand you love the guy. It's good that you love him. But you're not required to love him.”
And see if you can figure out who appointed Modly:
Modly said he was incensed that Crozier wrote in his memo that the United States is not at war. In fact, China is to blame for the current coronavirus pandemic because it hid the scope of the problem, said Modly, who also accused the Chinese of not being as transparent as the Navy.