Washington – The acting US Secretary of the Navy has been forced to apologize in the wake of a string of insults to the fired captain of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, whom he called “too naive or too stupid.”
At least 173 seafarers on board the ship had tested positive for the coronavirus on Monday and some 2,000 of the 4,865 crew members were landed to receive the test.RELATED
The latest figures for the entire country, according to Johns Hopkins University, were over 368,000 infected and nearly 11,000 dead.
Modly had relieved Crozier of his command last week. He said he had lost confidence in him for demonstrating an “extreme lack of judgment” by distributing a memo calling for the accelerated eviction of the crew to protect his health.
On Sunday Modly flew to Guam to speak to the sailors aboard the aircraft carrier who had applauded Crozier when he left the ship. He scolded them and accused them of failing to fulfill their primary duty, that of defending the interests of the United States.
On Monday night Modly backed down.
“I apologize for any confusion my words may have caused,” he wrote. “I also want to apologize directly to Captain Crozier, his family, and the crew of Theodore Roosevelt for any distress my words have caused.”
In his apology, Modly said, “I believe, precisely because he is not naive or stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of bringing it into the public domain to draw attention to the situation on his ship.”