Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, on Monday defended U.S. Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, who was dismissed from duty last week for alerting Navy officials about the spreading Covid-19 coronavirus on his aircraft carrier docked at a harbor in Guam and calling for their quick evacuation from the ship.
In a letter to his superiors, Crozier, a Santa Rosa native, called for the removal of more than 4,000 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt where an estimated 150 sailors tested positive for Covid-19, according to news reports.
Senior Navy officials argued Crozier should have directed his complaints and concerns up a formal chain of command instead of sending his concerns to more than two dozen people in a message that was leaked to the media, according to news reports.
Thompson said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly referred to Crozier Monday as “stupid” and “naive” to his former sailors.
“Captain Crozier acted with only the best interest of his crew in mind, showing an unwavering commitment to their health and safety during this uncertain time.”
“As a combat veteran, his dismissal has me deeply concerned and the comments made by the Secretary of the Navy are downright unacceptable. The entire Department of Defense should be focused on the health of our men and women in uniform, not closing ranks and slandering a good man who has served his nation honorably. I will continue defending Capt. Crozier and asking the Navy to conduct a full investigation into this matter.”
Thompson said he wrote to President Donald Trump, Department of Defense Inspector General, the Acting Secretary of the Navy, Secretary of Defense and others demanding a further explanation into the Navy’s decision to relieve Crozier of his command.