Acting U.S. Navy Secretary Thomas Modly submitted his resignation Tuesday amid calls for him to step down over his handling of the ouster of an aircraft carrier captain who raised the alarm over the spread of the novel coronavirus on board his ship.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he accepted Modly’s resignation, claiming Modly’s “care for the Sailors was genuine.”

“I have the deepest respect for anyone who serves our country, and who places the greater good above all else,” he said in a lengthy statement. “We must now put the needs of the Navy, including the crew of

Read more: Acting US Navy chief resigns over coronavirus uproar