U.S. President Donald Trump says he may step in to resolve the spiraling crisis embroiling the nation's Navy.
It centers around the dismissal of Captain Brett Crozier after he pleaded for help for the crew of his coronavirus-struck aircraft carrier.
That came in a scathing letter blasting the Navy's response to the outbreak - that was later leaked to the public.
Crozier's crew on the USS Theodore Roosevelt showed their disapproval of Crozier's dismissal by positing videos online applauding Crozier, hailing him as a hero, when he was forced out after the letter was leaked.
Then, Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly ridiculed Crozier in speech to the ship's crew - that has been obtained by Reuters.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTING NAVY SECRETARY THOMAS MODLY HEARD OVER THE SHIP'S INTERCOM, SAYING:
"If he didn't think, it was my opinion that if he didn't think that information was gonna get out into the public in this information age that we live in, then he was, A, too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this."
After an initial statement where Modly said he stood by his words, he later apologized, saying quote 'I do not think Captain Brett Crozier is naïve nor stupid.'
Late Monday (6 April), Trump suggested he might be able to solve the situation.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:
"You have two good people and they were arguing. And I'm good, believe it or not, at settling arguments. . .So I'm going to get involved and see exactly what's going on there because I don't want to destroy somebody for having a bad day."
One anonymous U.S. official said military officials had recommended against firing Crozier, arguing that it was better to finish an investigation.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt is docked in Guam.
Some 173 of the crew have tested positive for the virus so far.
The New York Times reported that Crozier himself has also tested positive.