Navy leaders recommend reinstating former commander of USS Theodore Roosevelt

American Navy leaders are reportedly recommending the reinstatement of the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s former commander.

Capt. Brett Crozier was fired by then-Navy Secretary Thomas Modly after he leaked a memo to the press criticizing Navy leadership for failing to provide the proper resources to combat the coronavirus.

After he fired Crozier, Modly came under intense criticism after calling the former commander “naive” and “stupid,” comments that eventually led to Modly’s resignation.

Now, according to The New York Times, the Navy is considering reinstating Crozier, with U.S. Defense Secretary Mike Esper taking the matter under consideration. No decision is expected before Monday.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt has been the center of how the U.S. military bureaucracy is addressing the global coronavirus amid its ranks.

Crozier’s four-page letter to his superiors in Washington detailed the dire situation aboard the Roosevelt, which was docked with more than 4,000 sailors aboard and dozens of whom were infected with the virus.

“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.”

After firing Crozier, Modly held a news conference about the matter and said the captain “demonstrated extremely poor judgment” in the middle of a crisis and created a panic by sending a non-secure email to people outside his chain of command.

The letter eventually found its way to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was the first to report the matter. From there, the story quickly spread around the country.

As of April 13, 585 members of the Roosevelt crew had tested positive for coronavirus. Nearly 4,000 crew members had been moved ashore, and at least one sailor has died from the outbreak.

Along with the Theodore Roosevelt, there are confirmed coronavirus cases on two other U.S. Navy carriers: the USS Nimitz and the USS Ronald Reagan. On Friday, an outbreak was confirmed aboard the USS Kidd, a Navy destroyer reportedly assigned to counter-narcotics operations.