The U.S. Navy relieved Cpt. Brett Crozier of his duties as commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt on Thursday, and new videos show the crew cheering his name as he departed.
The crew was chanting “Captain Crozier” as Crozier departed the ship, stopping for a moment to turn and wave back at the crew.
The send off for Captain Brett Crozier who was relieved from duty for TRYING TO SAVE THE LIVES OF HIS CREW pic.twitter.com/EEDG1U3rYE
— Danny Ocean (@The_UnSilent_) April 3, 2020
— 〽️. CRUMP (@marquettemarq) April 3, 2020
In one video, a crew member is overheard saying, “Now that’s how you send off one of the greatest captains you’ve ever had.”
Crozier had written a letter to the Navy on Tuesday pleading for help in isolating his crew amid a coronavirus outbreak board the aircraft carrier. The letter was leaked to the media, and on Thursday, the Navy relieved him, citing “lost confidence in his ability to lead.”
Nearly 100 of almost 5,000 crew members aboard the carrier had tested positive for coronavirus, sending the entire warship into lockdown at sea.
Crozier’s four-page letter had urged superiors to grant him permission to dock the carrier at a port in Guam and quarantine the crew on land.
“This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do,” Crozier wrote in the letter, which was reported by San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday. “We are not at war. 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.”
Crozer noted that offboarding was essential to prevent the spread of the virus because social distancing aboard the carrier isn’t feasible.
“Due to a warship’s inherent limitations of space, we are not doing this,” Crozier wrote. “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”
“Removing the majority of personnel from a deployed U.S. nuclear aircraft carrier and isolating them for two weeks may seem like an extraordinary measure. … This is a necessary risk,” Crozier wrote. “Keeping over 4,000 young men and women on board the TR is an unnecessary risk and breaks faith with those Sailors entrusted to our care.”
Guam’s Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said on Wednesday that she would allow the sailors to be quarantined in vacant hotels on land if they did not have coronavirus.
Modly said on Wednesday afternoon that 1,000 crew members were already evacuated from the ship, and a total of 2,700 were expected to be removed over the next few days, according to CNN.