ACTING Navy Secretary Thomas Modly has resigned after he branded a fired captain “stupid” for raising the alarm over the coronavirus crisis.
Modly's resignation comes a day after he blasted fired Captain Brett Crozier as "stupid" in an address to the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a US official and former senior military official told CNN Tuesday.
Crozier was axed Thursday after he publicly revealed that at least 155 sailors on the vessel had tested positive for the coronavirus.
As of Tuesday, the number of infected sailors on board climbed to 230, a US official told CNN.
Sailors angrily yelled back following Monday morning remarks to the crew, prompting President Trump to say he "might get involved" in the matter.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered Modly to apologize for throwing jabs at the captain.
Modly eventually apologized to Crozier and clarified his comment, saying that he "always believed him to be the opposite."
"Let me be clear, I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid," Modly said in a statement.
"I think, and always believed him to be the opposite."
"I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship.
"I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused."
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