When former Navy Secretary Thomas Modly boarded the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and addressed the crew, Modly made the fatal error of calling the ships former captain "naive" and "stupid" for addressing a letter -- a letter of concern about an outbreak of the coronavirus aboard the Roosevelt than was promptly leaked to the press in San Francisco -- to so many people, but that evidently never happened.
Modly accused Captain Crozier of sending the letter to practically everyone he knows; a list of names that included 20 to 30 people according to Modly, but he didn't.
The Washington Post obtained Crozier's original email and it was addressed to only ten people including admirals above him in the chain of command and a handful of other captains who were aboard the Roosevelt.
But while the attachment circulated widely, Crozier’s email did not. The email shows that Modly mischaracterized the message, accusing Crozier of sending it to 20 or 30 people, as he cited it as justification for removing him from command. [...]
He addressed it to Rear Adm. Stuart Baker, his immediate commanding officer; Adm. John Aquilino, the top commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet; and Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, the officer overseeing all naval forces in the Pacific.
Crozier copied the message to seven Navy captains but left off Vice Adm. William Merz, who oversaw the Roosevelt as commander of the Navy’s 7th Fleet.
It would have been inappropriate for Modly to tell the ship's crew that their former captain was "naive" and "stupid" for trying to protect them even if he had actually sent the letter to as many as 30 people, but he didn't and now the Trump regime's actions look even worse.
Secretary Modly accused Captain Crozier of violating the code of military justice and the captain's only offense was writing a letter to his superiors and the other captains aboard his own vessel.
Modly also accused Crozier of not taking operational security seriously, but communications obtained by the Washington Post show that he did. Crozier even asked the families of his crew not to share details with the public.
On March 24, Crozier wrote to family members with alarming news, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Post.
“Yesterday evening, a few sailors did the right and brave thing, reporting to medical they were experiencing flu-like symptoms,” he wrote. “These sailors were tested . . . and this morning the results of the tests indicated positive results for coronavirus.”
Crozier cautioned the families not to talk publicly about the situation on the ship, highlighting the Navy’s delicate balance between keeping the public informed and not revealing vulnerabilities to potential adversaries.
“Operational security regarding both ship movements and our medical readiness is sensitive information and should not be made public,” he wrote.
It's worth reading the Washington Post's full account as it details exactly how the virus found its way onto the ship in the first place.
Their accounting of events includes a stop and shore leave in Vietnam including a hotel stay alongside foreign tourists who were carrying the virus. The Navy apparently did not take the threat of the virus seriously and that also would have been Modly's responsibility as the service's secretary.