The US Navy commander who sounded the alarm because his nuclear aircraft carrier suffered from at least a hundred corona cases was removed from office on Thursday. According to Navy Minister Thomas Modly, the captain showed “poor judgment” by emailing his cry for help to twenty to thirty colleagues.
Captain Brett Crozier of the USS Theodore Roosevelt asked for help on Sunday, as there were many sick people on board and the 4,800 crew members had no room to keep their distance. He wanted to evacuate and quarantine 90 percent of those on the island of Guam, while his ship would be disinfected there.
“Decisiveness is required,” he wrote to several officers. “It is not war. Navy men don’t have to die. If we don’t act now, we fail to care for our most valuable asset – our people. “
The letter leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle, after which the navy summit on Wednesday decided to evacuate a large part of the crew. But Washington was not amused. Interim minister Modly thought that Crozier could have knocked on the door of his superior, who was sailing on the same ship.
“He raised an unnecessary alarm. That undermines our efforts in the chain of command to address this problem. It causes panic, and creates the perception that the Navy is failing and that the government is failing, and that is simply not true. “
It is not clear whether Crozier was previously zeroed by his superiors, and therefore sent a despair.
The NavyTimes website spoke to a mother of a crew member on Thursday who praised the captain. “He risked his own career. He has stood up for the foot soldiers. There are not many of them. I’m devastated. ”
Crozier is yet another government official who falls into disgrace for raising a problem that the government would rather leave unmentioned. Criticism is often viewed by the Trump administration as a lack of loyalty, and a lack of loyalty is often equated with treason. The list of ministers, White House workers, civil servants, diplomats, intelligence workers and whistleblowers who have fallen victim to this is long.
That the retaliation is now hitting a naval officer is even more bitter, because this autumn President Trump pardoned and restored war man Ed Gallagher, who had been convicted for war crimes, and thus went right against the procedures and ethical mores of the part of the war. When then-Secretary of State Richard Spencer defended Trump’s interference, he was fired.
“The President has no idea what it means to be a military, to fight ethically or to be guided by a unified set of rules and practices,” former Marine Spencer wrote in an analysis.
Trump appointed the accountant Modly as interim successor to Spencer. Modly said on Thursday that the decision to remove Captain Crozier from office has been taken without the intervention of the White House. Modly said he had presented it to defense minister Mark Esper, who had given his approval.
Incidentally, the navy has not yet performed heroics elsewhere during the corona crisis. The two hospital ships that docked this week on the Los Angeles and New York quays have only taken fifteen and three patients on board respectively – each with a thousand beds. Those beds were supposed to be filled with non-corona patients. According to furious doctors at the overcrowded hospitals in the two cities, the rules and screenings are such that it is very difficult to get patients on board.