Pentagon chief to 'review' inquiry of COVID-19-hit ship

Pentagon chief to 'thoroughly review' Navy inquiry into coronavirus-hit Theodore Roosevelt

USS Theodore Roosevelt. Reuters/File

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper will "thoroughly review" the Navy's preliminary inquiry into a coronavirus outbreak aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and then meet with Navy leadership to discuss the next steps, the Pentagon said on Friday.

In a statement, the Pentagon said Esper had received a verbal update from the acting Navy Secretary and Chief of Naval operations.

"After the Secretary receives a written copy of the completed inquiry, he intends to thoroughly review the report and will meet again with Navy leadership to discuss next steps," the statement added.

US officials have told Reuters that during the Friday meeting, the US Navy recommended reinstating the fired captain of the coronavirus-stricken carrier, whose crew hailed him as a hero willing to risk his job to safeguard his sailors.