Navy captain ousted over coronavirus warning reportedly won't be reinstated

Capt. Brett Crozier, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), gives remarks during an all-hands call on the ships flight deck Dec. 15, 2019
(Image credit: U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

The Navy captain who was ousted after warning about an outbreak of COVID-19 on his ship will reportedly not be getting his old job back.

The Navy has upheld Capt. Brett Crozier's firing, Politico reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the matter. This decision comes after in April, the chief of naval operations recommended that he be reinstated.

Crozier was ousted as commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after writing a four-page letter asking for help containing a coronavirus outbreak. Then-acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly at the time said Crozier sent the letter "outside of the chain of command." Modly himself later resigned after controversially saying Crozier was "too naive or too stupid" to run the ship.

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Following the recommendation that Crozier be reinstated, acting Navy Secretary James McPherson announced a "deeper review" into the situation, saying he still had "unanswered questions" and was seeking a "more fulsome understanding of the sequence of events."

A source told Politico on Friday that "the results of the investigation justified the relief. He failed to take appropriate action, to do the things that the commanding officer of a ship is supposed to do, so he stays relieved." Additionally, Politico reports that "in a new twist, the Navy is also expected to hold up the promotion of the senior officer onboard the Roosevelt, Rear Adm. Stuart Baker, the commander of Carrier Strike Group 9."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.