Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s trip to the coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt last weekend cost him his job, a two-week quarantine — and the American taxpayer a reported $243,000.
The United States shelled out the big bucks to send Modly out to the ship docked in Guam, where he badmouthed fired Capt. Brett Crozier in a speech to his former crew, according to a trip cost estimate reported by USA Today.
Modly flew aboard a Gulfstream business jet modified for military use with per-hour cost of flying at $6,946.19 per hour, a Navy official told the outlet. The flight time for the Guam trip was about 35 hours for a cost of $243,116.65.
Modly promptly resigned Tuesday after trashing Crozier for using improper channels last week to warn that the virus had spread among his crew, saying Crozier was “naive” and “stupid” for using email to alert people outside his chain of command.
The comments angered sailors.
“What the f–k?” an apparent sailor is recorded shouting in leaked audio as Modly criticized Crozier.
“He was just trying to help us!” another man’s voice protests.
Crozier had warned last week that COVID-19 was spreading among many his 5,000-person crew. After docking in Guam, at least 230 people aboard — including Crozier — tested positive for COVID-19.
President Trump said during a Tuesday night news conference that Modly didn’t have to resign over speech, but that he hoped it would end the controversy.
“The whole thing was very unfortunate,” Trump said at a press conference Tuesday night.
“The captain should not have written a letter, he didn’t have to be Ernest Hemingway,” Trump said of Crozier. “He made a mistake but he had a bad day.”