Washington, DC April 6, 2020 – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Committee, today called upon President Trump to immediately demand the resignation of Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly due to a critical loss of confidence and trust in his ability to lead the U.S. Navy.

“I am requesting that the President immediately demand Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly’s resignation. Sailors and their families deserve civilian leadership that they can trust. Acting Secretary Modly’s mismanagement of the COVID-19 outbreak on board the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt has irreparably undermined trust in his ability to lead and further undermined morale and troop readiness.

The memorandum from Capt. Brett Crozier rightly raised concerns that the Navy was insufficiently prepared to address the crisis on board his ship, and insufficiently concerned with the risks to the Sailors on board. Firing Captain Crozier only amplified the questions about the Navy’s priorities, further contributing to a downward spiral of panic and fear.

This weekend, Acting Secretary Modly’s so-called efforts to get the Roosevelt back on track instead made things worse. Amid continued delays in efforts to test and evacuate Sailors off the ship, his remarks to the crew were tone deaf, insulting their commander and their intelligence.

These servicemembers pledge their lives to protect us. They must be able to trust that their leadership will not put their lives at risk unnecessarily or without due care. The Sailors and Marines of the Department of the Navy can no longer trust in the leadership of Thomas Modly. He must resign.”