Marine infection, captain exemption, acting minister resigns

What happened to the "Roosevelt" aircraft carrier during the epidemic?

Our reporter Hu Dingkun

As of April 7, local time, 230 crew members of the US Navy "Roosevelt" aircraft carrier had been diagnosed with new crown pneumonia. On the same day, Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Modley resigned, and the day before, he also delivered a speech on the "Roosevelt", blaming Captain Crozer, who was dismissed because of the release of the "Request for Assistance", "either too naive or Too stupid ".

From sailor infection, to the captain asking for help, to the captain being exempted, and finally to the resignation of the minister, what happened on the "Roosevelt"?

How can there be an epidemic in drifting at sea

On January 17, surrounded by six escort warships, the "Roosevelt" set sail from the San Diego Naval Base and proceeded along the way while conducting exercises. It sailed toward the Western Pacific and began a new year of combat deployment. Perhaps it is a "precaution", it is specially equipped with a special "preventive medicine team", but it does not carry a kit to detect the new coronavirus.

After that, the outbreak of New Coronary Pneumonia intensified. On February 26, US Secretary of Defense Esper asked the combatant commander to ask him for a "decision to protect troops from the new corona virus attack." On the 28th, Modley said that vessels of the Seventh Fleet in the Asia-Pacific region stayed for at least 14 days between the two departures to slow the spread of the virus.

On March 5, the "Roosevelt" arrived in Da Nang, Vietnam to stop for a visit. At that time, Vietnam had only 16 confirmed cases of new pneumonia, and all were located in Hanoi, far away from Da Nang. Therefore, this did not affect the crew's normal disembarkation activities. However, the crew will undergo an epidemic prevention inspection including temperature measurement when returning. On March 8, two British tourists in Da Nang were diagnosed with new coronary pneumonia. On the 9th, the "Roosevelt" hurriedly left Da Nang.

Since then, the "Roosevelt" has been drifting at sea, training normally. From March 15th to 18th, San Diego, the home port of the "Roosevelt", found that two naval crew members had a "positive" virus test. On the 22nd, "Roosevelt" confirmed the first patient with new coronary pneumonia.

How can the New Corona virus board a highly classified aircraft carrier? On April 1, Modley said at the Ministry of Defense press conference, "At present we have no evidence to show what caused or brought the virus to the ship." "Maybe someone had carried the virus when it sailed from San Diego. . We just do n’t know. "

Why did the captain openly ask for help?

Between March 24 and 25, seven other crew members were diagnosed with infection. On the 26th, all the crew of the "Roosevelt" began to be tested in batches for the new coronavirus. On the 27th, in accordance with orders from Modley and others, the "Roosevelt" docked in Guam, but required all crew members not to leave the dock, and only 8 confirmed patients were transported to the Navy Guam Hospital for treatment.

On March 29th, Admiral Stewart Baker, the commander of the aircraft carrier fleet, and John Aquilino, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, boarded the "Roosevelt" and discussed the action plan against the outbreak. Disagreement, think that there is no need to take "big moves" such as evacuation of all crews, fearing that this will endanger the aircraft carrier to continue to perform combat missions. On the 30th, Crozer spoke with Bob Love, chief of the Navy ’s chief of staff, hoping to make the crew evacuate faster.

Subsequently, Crozet sent mass emails to dozens of high-level navy officers requesting that 90% of the officers and soldiers of the "Roosevelt" be evacuated to avoid unnecessary deaths. He believed that the crowded special environment on the aircraft carrier was extremely suitable for the spread of the new crown virus. On the same day, Modley convened two high-level naval meetings to discuss how to respond to "Krozer's letter." Strangely, on March 31, the contents of the letter were leaked and reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, which quickly caused an uproar, and it was reported that more than 100 people on the ship were infected with the new crown virus.

On April 1, Modley announced at the press conference that 1,273 people of the "Roosevelt" had been tested for the new coronavirus, 93 of whom were diagnosed, and 700-1000 crew members will remain in the aircraft carrier and its vicinity to ensure nuclear reactors and weapons The system works normally and is ready to sail at any time.

Modley also claimed that the crew of the "Roosevelt" directly told him that the situation was not as serious as the one written in Crozet's letter. After the press conference, Modley called Defense Minister Esper and said he would dismiss Croze. The other party's reply will support Modley's decision, no matter what.

Why did the minister follow the captain's departure

On April 2, 114 crew members of the "Roosevelt" were infected with the new coronavirus, and the final number is expected to reach "hundreds". Modley said that Crozet's letter caused people to worry about the ship's combat capability and operational safety. At 5 pm on the same day, Modley announced his dismissal of Kroze because he "expressed extremely bad judgment in the crisis."

The move quickly attracted widespread criticism. Several former naval officers questioned this decision on social media and news media. On April 3, Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego said that the House Military Committee will almost certainly hold a hearing on this. On the same day, Democratic candidate Joe Biden said that Crozer was loyal to his crew and country. "The navy leadership sent a creepy message: tell the truth to power."

On April 6, Modley visited the "Roosevelt" and mentioned in his speech "If Croze believes that information will not be disclosed in this information age in which we live, then he is a person who is too naive or too stupid. "

The word "stupid" stirred up thousands of waves. Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria wrote on Twitter: "Esper should immediately dismiss him (Mordelli)." Smith, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a statement: "I am headed by Acting Minister Modley The Navy is no longer confident, believing that he should be removed. "That night, Esper asked Modley to apologize.

On April 7, under great pressure, Modley resigned. Trump commented: "I am not involved. I don't know him. I heard that he is a good person."

Perhaps the story of the US Navy ’s aircraft carrier ’s anti-epidemic is not over yet. On the same day, according to the US political news website POLITICO, a confirmed case of new coronary pneumonia appeared in the USS Nimitz. So far, four US aircraft carriers have been recruited in the epidemic.