Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Friday that his firing of the captain who raised the alarm about a coronavirus outbreak onboard a U.S. aircraft carrier was the “hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do.”
“I know that in my heart and in the heart and mind of this particular officer, every single thing that he was doing was [with] the best interests of the crew in mind, for their lives and their safety,” Modly told conservative talk radio host Hugh Hewitt of Capt. Brett Crozier, who was relieved Thursday of command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt.
“I know that he loves this crew. I know that the crew loves and respects him. But that’s not an excuse for exercising the judgment that he did,” Modly said. “So it was very, very difficult for me. I had wished that I would never have to make a decision like this.”