As a coronavirus outbreak swept through a U.S. aircraft carrier crippled off the coast of Guam, the ship’s commander tapped out an e-mail urging senior Navy leaders to evacuate most of the 4,800 sailors onboard.

Capt. Brett Crozier opened his March 30 message to three admirals by saying he would “gladly” follow them “into battle whenever needed.” But he shifted to his concern that the Navy was not doing enough to stop the spread of the virus, and acknowledged being a part of the sluggish response.

“I fully realize that I bear responsibility for not demanding more decisive action the moment we pulled in, but at this point my only priority is the continued well-being of the crew and embarked staff,” Crozier wrote in previously unreported comments obtained by The Washington Post. “. . . I believe if there is ever a time to ask for help it is now regardless of the impact on my career.”…

While the attachment circulated widely, Crozier’s email did not. The email shows that Modly mischaracterized the message, accusing Crozier of sending it to 20 or 30 people, as he cited it as justification for removing him from command.