I am taking this opportunity to provide an update on our fight against COVID-19 and what we are doing to address the concerns we all share in these uncertain times.
I believe we must always “assume positive intent,” which I acknowledge is often hard to do. It is especially hard given the impact COVID-19 is having on our personal lives and the economy. Like all of you, I am concerned about my family and what the future holds. I also have a responsibility to our business—a business that directly performs a critical mission for our country and provides the means for each of us to care for and protect our families. In this context, “assuming positive intent” means you can rest assured that I, and the entire leadership team, am focused on the health and safety of our workforce measured against the backdrop of performing our critical mission and supporting the national defense. Today I received a letter from Asst. Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition James Geurts, emphasizing how vital our work is to the security of our nation.
Across the country, some are suggesting a broad shutdown is necessary to prevent the spread of this disease and that those who do not shut down are only motivated by profit. Let me be clear, we remain open because, as the President of the United States has recognized, and the Navy has mandated, we perform a critical mission that is essential to the defense of our nation. We are, simply, not at liberty to shut down in the execution of that mission. Our response to COVID-19 is focused on ensuring the health and safety of our workforce to the greatest extent possible while meeting that mission as productively as possible.
As I write this, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at EB. Where people have been suspected of being infected, or present higher risk of exposure, we have taken decisive action to quarantine and monitor employees, and we have increased our cleaning of EB facilities using the best available guidance from federal, state and local authorities coupled with plain old common sense. But those actions are not just about what EB is doing to help you. You have a role to play to help ensure you and those around you do not contract or spread COVID-19. Proper hygiene (hand washing, etiquette when coughing and sneezing), social distancing, limiting group gatherings, etc. are all important as we learn to live and fight together against COVID-19. We are encouraging directors to optimize remote work arrangements with their teams where practical.
Most importantly, if you are sick, or if someone in your family is sick, or if you or someone in your family has been exposed to the disease, Do Not Come to Work. I realize some are concerned about a paycheck. We have taken action to ensure those who need time off can take it without the need to worry about making ends meet. Take the time to get healthy. We need each of you healthy and mission-ready for the good of our submarine force and our nation.