- President Donald Trump told reporters on Saturday that he “100%” agreed with the Navy’s decision to postpone the commander who sent a letter asking for help with the coronavirus outbreak on his ship.
- “I thought it was horrible what he did, writing a letter? I mean, this is not a class of literature. This is a captain for a massive ship that is nuclear-powered,” Trump said.
- Marine officials said they fired Captain Brett Crozier because he bypassed the chain of command by sending the letter and was not careful who the information was sent to.
- Crozier has been hailed in the wake of his shooting, with his sailors giving him a rude broadcast and singing his name as he left the ship in Guam.
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President Donald Trump based Captain Brett Crozier on Saturday, the sacked Navy commander who wrote a letter calling for help with the coronavirus outbreak on his ship that killed dozens of sailors.
Trump said he went “100%” with the Navy’s decision to postpone the commander, though he acknowledged he “didn’t know that much about it.”
Navy officials removed Crozier from command on Thursday, several days after he sent a four-page letter to senior military officials asking for help from the Pentagon as the virus spread throughout the ship. The letter was then leaked to the media.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told the media that the dismissal was due to Crozier bypassing the chain of command when he sent the letter and was not careful about “who that information went to.”
“He wrote a letter. The letter was a five-page letter from a captain. And the letter was everywhere,” Trump told reporters at his press conference on Saturday, incorrectly stating the number of pages. “It’s not appropriate. I don’t think it’s appropriate.”
In the letter, Crozier described the impossible crime of implementing quarantine and social distance guidelines, noting that the warship had major space limitations.
He urged military officials to remove most of the 4,800 service members aboard the ship and give way to quarantine on the coast of Guam, saying he knew it was an “extraordinary measure” but that it was a “necessary risk.”
“We’re not at war. Sailors don’t have to die,” Crozier wrote. “If we do not act now, we will fail to take care of our most trusted asset – our sailors.”
In his press conference on Saturday, Trump said he thought the letter “looked terrible.”
“I thought it was horrible what he did, writing a letter? I mean, this is not a class of literature. This is a captain for a massive ship that is nuclear-powered,” Trump said. “And he shouldn’t talk like that on a letter. He could call and ask and propose.”
After Crozier was dismissed, several videos went viral showing the parting that the sailors gave him.
Crozier went from the ship in Guam to fiery cheers and applause, with sailors telling Crozier’s name.
The Navy announced Saturday that 155 people aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt had tested positive for COVID-19, no one was hospitalized and 44% of the ship’s crew had been tested.
So far, 1 548 sailors have been moved ashore, and the ship will keep enough sailors on board “to maintain important services and sanitize the ship in port,” the Navy said.