US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns...

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US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns

 International Desk

 Published: 05:10 PM, 8 April 2020  

US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns

US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigns

Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned from his post following criticism of his handling of a crisis involving the captain of a coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier.

Modly caused controversy when he fired the USS Theodore Roosevelt's skipper, Captain Brett Crozier, last week, saying he had shown "extremely poor judgment" in widely distributing a letter calling for urgent help with a COVID-19 outbreak aboard his ship.

Modly then flew to the ship, at port in Guam, and delivered a speech to the crew in which he lambasted Captain Crozier, saying he was either "too naive or too stupid" to be in charge of an aircraft carrier.

Army Undersecretary James McPherson is expected to replace Mr Modly.

So far, 230 sailors aboard the ship have tested positive for coronavirus, and about 2,000 of the 4,865 crew members have been taken off.

On Monday night, Mr Modly issued a public apology, but by then the calls among Democrats in Congress for his resignation were mounting.

US President Donald Trump had also indicated he might get involved in the deepening crisis.