This is turning into a major sh*tstorm...
The Pentagon has relieved Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, from command of the aircraft carrier after he allegedly leaked a copy of a scathing letter he wrote to top brass requesting that all but the bare minimum (he said 10% ) of the sailors on his boat be let off to prevent a brutal outbreak of COVID-19.
Reports about the sailors, the first aboard a ship on active duty to test positive for COVID-19, first emerged last week, and the situation has become a growing hot potato as the White House and Pentagon have resisted allowing the sailors to disembark.
Similar to how Trump initially wanted to keep the passengers of the 'Diamond Princess' from leaving the ship, it's believed Trump pressured the Pentagon not to let the sailors off because it would look bad for the administration. There are 4,865 sailors on board, and
But Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly replied that he didn't believe leaving only 10% behind would be appropriate. "Our plan has always been to remove as much of the crew as we can while maintaining for the ship's safety," he said. "This ship has weapons on it, it has munitions on it, it has expensive aircraft, and it has a nuclear power plant. It requires a certain number of people on that ship to maintain the safety and security of the ship."
Even writing the request was probably out of line for Crozier, who clearly felt obligated to act to stop his crew from being infected en masse as part of a PR strategy. But the obvious leaking of the letter was clearly a bridge too far.
"I recognize that there've been a lot of questions about the Teddy Roosevelt, particularly over the last 24 hours," Modly said during a recent Pentagon press conference. "We have accelerated testing and are deep cleaning all the spaces on the ship. We are providing the commanding officer what he has requested and we are doing our best to accelerate the pace wherever we can."
Whispers about Crozier's imminent firing emerged shortly before the news was confirmed. The firing has unleashed a torrent of criticism against Trump, while others argued that in the military, following your conscience often means losing your stripes.
Navy Captain Brett Crozier was removed from the USS Theodore Roosevelt I’m sure because he wrote a letter to his superiors imploring them for help. In my mind as a former Navy wife (husband USN/Ret) he’s a hero! #NavyHero— DoodleMom (@SnowflakePeg) April 2, 2020
It's unclear whether he will face any additional punishment.
Read the letter below: