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Navy extends investigation into coronavirus outbreak aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt

Navy recommends reinstatement of captain fired over virus warning
Navy recommends reinstatement of captain fired over virus warning 01:50

Washington — The U.S. Navy has extended its investigation into an outbreak of the coronavirus among sailors aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the events that led to the removal of its captain, Brett Crozier.

Acting Navy Secretary James McPherson announced the investigation would be widened in a written statement Wednesday and said he has "unanswered questions" stemming from a preliminary inquiry conducted by the Navy that can be answered only with a "deeper review."

"I am directing Adm. Gilday to conduct a follow-on command investigation," McPherson said, referencing Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday. "This investigation will build on the good work of the initial inquiry to provide a more fulsome understanding of the sequence of events, actions and decisions surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt."

Gilday ordered an investigation into the ouster of Crozier and the events surrounding the outbreak, and recommended he be reinstated as the commander of the Roosevelt, CBS News confirmed last week.

Crozier was relieved of his command after an urgent memo he sent pleading for sailors to be removed from the aircraft carrier became public. Then-acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, who has since resigned, said Crozier went outside the chain of command.

The Navy said that as of Tuesday, there are 940 active coronavirus cases among sailors from the Roosevelt, and 29 have recovered. One sailor is in a naval hospital in Guam for COVID-19 symptoms, and one has died.

David Martin contributed to this report.

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