Navy’s Firing of Captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt Is ‘Close to Criminal,’ Biden Says

Navy’s Firing of Captain of USS Theodore Roosevelt Is ‘Close to Criminal,’ Biden Says

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden criticized the Navy’s decision to fire the captain of an aircraft carrier who requested urgent help for his crew because of the coronavirus.

“I think it’s close to criminal the way they’re dealing with this guy,” Biden told George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s This Week. “I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired.”

Capt. Brett Crozier sent a letter to his chain of command on Monday stating that his ship, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, needed to be evacuated immediately because more than 100 sailors out of a crew of nearly 5,000 had been diagnosed with covid-19.

“We are not at war,” Crozier wrote. “Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.”

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly relieved Crozier of his duty on Thursday, claiming that he showed poor “judgment” in sending his letter to 20 to 30 people, resulting in it being leaked to the media. President Donald Trump said he agreed with the decision.

Upon his departure from his ship on Friday, Crozier was met with cheers and applause by his crew.

Watch the video above, via ABC News/Twitter.

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt

William Vaillancourt is a writer and editor from New Hampshire whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Progressive, Slate and Areo Magazine, among other places. He holds a BA in Political Science and History from Boston University.