Reinstating Ex-Carrier Captain May Hinge On Trump

The New York Times reports:

The Navy is looking into whether it can reinstate Capt. Brett E. Crozier, who was removed from command of the carrier Theodore Roosevelt after he pleaded for more help fighting a coronavirus outbreak aboard his ship, Defense officials said on Wednesday. Adm. Michael M. Gilday, the chief of naval operations, has indicated that he may reinstate Captain Crozier, who is viewed as a hero by his crew for putting their lives above his career, officials said.

But Admiral Gilday’s decision could be upended by President Trump, who has not been shy about intervening in military personnel cases. Only five months ago, Mr. Trump fired Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencer for opposing the president’s intervention in support of a member of the Navy SEALs accused of murdering a wounded captive with a hunting knife during a deployment to Iraq in 2017.

The Navy Times reports:

By the time the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt was ordered to port in Guam on March 26, the hulking ship was already being ransacked by the outbreak of an invisible enemy. Within 24 hours, the number of infected more than doubled. Each subsequent day yielded more confirmed cases, numbering 615 as of Wednesday. A 41-year-old chief petty officer became the first to succumb to COVID-19 on Monday, four days after being found unresponsive by other quarantined sailors.

According to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday, Navy officials now believe the outbreak on the carrier Roosevelt was initiated by the ship’s routine flight operations. Numerous carrier on-board delivery flights originating in Japan, the Philippines, and Vietnam occurred in the days following the ship’s departure from Da Nang, the report said. With some of the first Roosevelt sailors to contract the virus coming from the carrier’s air wing, the picture began to clarify.