Trump blasts ex-Navy Capt Brett Crozier who raised coronavirus alarms saying he agrees ‘100%’ with his ousting – The Sun

DONALD Trump has blasted the much respected and loved commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he was fired for sounding the alarm about coronavirus aboard the vessel in a last-ditch attempt to save his crew.

In a blistering condemnation, the president called the venerated Capt. Crozier’s letter “terrible”, “all over the place” and “not appropriate”, saying he agreed “100 per cent” with the ousting.

Trump cited the captain’s actions during his press conference last night, including the letter he sent to the Navy begging them to allow his ship to make an emergency landing in Guam so sailors could receive treatment.

The Navy only allowed the urgent action after the letter was also leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Trump, who is under heavy fire for his poor response to the coronavirus crisis, said during his Saturday COVID-19 press conference: “He wrote a letter. A five-page letter from a captain. And the letter was all over the place. That’s not appropriate, I don’t think that’s appropriate.

“It looked terrible what he did. To write a letter. I mean this isn’t a class on literature. This is the captain of a massive ship … he shouldn’t be talking that way in a letter.”

The president also took repeated swings at Crozier for allowing the ship to stop in Vietnam as the outbreak was growing, but billed that decision as secondary to the letter.

Captain Brett Crozier will now be ‘reassigned’ according to his superiors, despite the Navy facing a huge backlash over the dismissal.

The news came just one day after a video emerged of hundreds of sailors cheering the Captain as he walked off the aircraft carrier after being relieved of duties.

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly told reporters on Thursday that he “lost confidence in [Crozier’s] ability to lead that warship” after he sent the letter, and relieved him of duty.

Crozier was to be reassigned while investigators consider whether he should face disciplinary action, said Modly.

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling on the U.S. Navy to reinstate Crozier.

“His actions possibly saved many lives,” said the petition said.

“Although he was fired, his plan to safely remove crew members was still implemented. He is a hero who should be rewarded.”

Crozier “was absolutely correct in raising” concerns about Covid-19 but “it was the way in which he did it” that “undermined” the Navy’s efforts and “created a little bit of panic on the ship,” Modly said.

Farwell Sir it's been a pleasure #WEARETRSTRONG #MYCO #TR

Posted by Michael Washington on Friday, April 3, 2020

But he said the letter was sent outside the chain of command while the Navy was already “fully responding.”

He added that Crozier copying as many people as he did on the letter demonstrated “extremely poor judgment,” and said: “He did not take care to ensure that it couldn’t be leaked.”

Crozier will be reassigned in the U.S. Navy role, but won’t be discharged, Modly said on Friday.

But despite this, Crozier was cheered for by hundreds as he left the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday.

In videos posted online, one person can be heard shouting: “Now that’s how you send off one of the greatest captains you ever had.”

Hundreds of sailors chanted “Captain Crozier!” and a man calls him the “G.O.A.T.,” or the “greatest of all time,” and “a man of the people.”

Crozier, in his letter to Navy leaders, said: “We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die,” he said. “If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

He said that removing all but 10 percent of the ship’s 5,000-person crew was a “necessary risk” in order to stop the spread of the virus.

The captain told bosses in Washington that action had to be taken immediately, and that as many crew should be taken off as possible to save lives — so they could be tested, isolated and treated if necessary.

“It will enable the carrier and air wing to get back underway as quickly as possible while ensuring the health and safety of our sailors,” Crozier wrote, adding that finding appropriate isolation for the crew “will require a political solution, but it is the right thing to do.”

A Navy official previously told The Associated Press that Crozier alerted commanders on Sunday night of the increasing challenges of isolating the coronavirus among the crew.

The official said Crozier wanted more isolated housing and that Navy leadership is reviewing options to ensure their health and safety.

U.S. Pacific Fleet commander Adm. John Aquilino told reporters on Tuesday that the Navy was working to get as many sailors as possible on shore, while still maintaining a core crew to monitor the nuclear reactors and keep the ship running.

Aquilino said the pace may not be as fast as Crozier would like, but it would be done on a rotation, with sailors staying on shore in isolation for 14 days, then returning to the ship virus-free so that others can go ashore.

He said the Navy is doing what it can with what it has available and that at the time.

Officials said they were working with the government of Guam, a U.S. territory, to try to get hotel rooms that would allow for greater isolation.

Earlier this week, around 1,000 sailors had been taken off the ship.

Modly had told CNN efforts were underway to help the ship while ensuring that the Navy and the U.S. military continue to protect the country.

“This is a unique circumstance,” he said. “And we’re working through it and trying to maintain that proper balance to ensure that our friends and allies, and most importantly our foes and adversaries out there, understand that we are not standing down the watch.”

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is, like other Navy ships, vulnerable to infectious diseases spreading given its close quarters.

Enlisted sailors and officers are based in separate living quarters — however, they normally grab their food from crowded buffet lines and eat at tables joined end-to-end.

It’s not a practical environment to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

The outbreak on the carrier may be the Navy’s most dramatic, but it tracks an accelerating upward trend across the military.








On Tuesday morning, the Department of Defense said the number of cases in the military reached 673, a jump of 104 from the day before and up from 174 a week ago.

Since March 20, the total has surged tenfold, even as the Pentagon has taken many steps to try to limit the spread, including halting nearly all movement of troops overseas.

The Pentagon has since ordered military leaders to stop publicly announcing coronavirus cases among military members in an effort to protect operational security at the U.S.’s global military installations.

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