Navy Capt. Crozier's coronavirus decision was the right thing to do

Cheryl Sanders
April 4, 2020

Captain Brett E Crozier, the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, was removed on Thursday.

Crozier took command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt in November 2019.

The senators, in their letter to the Inspector General's office, noted "the remarkable show of support for CAPT Crozier by members of his crew", and voiced concerns about whether his firing would impact morale and readiness in the Navy.

Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said on Friday that the fired commander of the US aircraft carrier is being reassigned while investigators consider whether he should face disciplinary action or not.

The U.S. Navy relieved aircraft carrier Captain Brett Crozier of his command after the captain sent a letter to superiors urging them to take action to contain a Wuhan coronavirus outbreak on the ship.

The backlash to Modly's decision to fire Crozier has been intense.

Videos went viral on social media Friday, showing hundreds of sailors gathered on the ship chanting and applauding Navy Capt. Brett Crozier as he walked down the ramp, turned, saluted, waved and got into a waiting vehicle.

But Crozier's decision was the right thing to do at a hard time as clearly and emotionally demonstrated by a series of videos that surfaced Friday showing waves of sailors applauding him and chanting "Capt. Crozier" as if he were a war hero.

"And creates a perception that the Navy's not on the job, the government's not on the job", Modly added.

On Tuesday, a letter that Crozier wrote to his superiors pleading to vacate as much of the ship as possible and put most of its 4,800 sailors in quarantine on land was leaked to US newspapers, angering the Pentagon leadership. He said Modly told Esper he had lost confidence in the captain.

"We are not at war".

The letter put the Pentagon on the defensive and alarmed the families of those on the vessel, whose home port is in San Diego.

"I don't agree with that at all".

The ship is docked in Guam, and so far 137 of the almost 5,000 sailors on board have tested positive for the virus. "Not at all. Not even a little bit", Trump said.

He said that 2,700 of the 4,865 sailors aboard the Roosevelt would be disembarking this week and only a skeleton crew would remain aboard to maintain the ship.

An online petition calling for Crozier to be reinstated had been signed by more than 120,000 people.

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