The Navy is expected to announce that it has relieved the captain who sounded the alarm for a COVID-19 epidemic aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, two US officials said.
Captain Brett Crozier, who commands the Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier with a crew of nearly 5,000, will be relieved of his command, but will keep his rank and remain in the Navy.
Crozier sounded the alarm earlier this week that the sailors on board the ship must be quarantined to stop the spread of the virus. His cry for help quickly hit the headlines.
Crozier sent a letter to the Navy on Monday asking for help in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak on board his ship, which was forced to dock in Guam last week. Ship management has started testing everyone on board. On Wednesday, 93 test results were positive and more than 1,000 people left the ship in isolation in Guam. A total of 2,700 people are expected to disembark from the vessel this week, with a small crew remaining to service the vessel.
The decision is expected to be announced Thursday evening in a briefing by Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly. The official reason for Crozier’s cut is a loss of confidence, according to officials who spoke to NBC News.