Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly decided late Thursday to relieve Crozier, saying he had lost trust and confidence in his ability to command because his scathing four-page letter demanding approval to remove most of the almost 5,000 crew members aboard the ship was too widely distributed.
The revelation about Crozier's health came just days after he was removed from his post after an email he sent to senior military officials, pleading for help for his crew, which was seeing an accelerating spread of the coronavirus.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said he did not consult with anyone at the White House before he made a decision to fire the captain of an aircraft carrier for his lack of leadership in the face of a coronavirus outbreak, according to a report.
"I have no doubt in my mind that Capt. Crozier did what he thought was in the best interest of the safety and well being of his crew".
"I think he should have a commendation rather than be fired".
The letter was made public after the San Francisco Chronicle obtained a copy.
President Trump said "I didn't make the decision" but his spray tan orange fingerprints are all over it. I mean, this isn't a class on literature.
"He shouldn't be talking that way in a letter", Trump said of Crozier.
"We need to take care of the sailors on the ship". The visual of Crozier's former crew cheering for him as he left the ship caught everyone's attention.
The spat resulted in Crozier's dismissal as the ship's captain.
While Modly has publicly refrained from accusing Crozier of leaking the letter to the media in his address to the ship's crew, the acting secretary accused Crozier of committing a "betrayal" and creating a "big controversy" in Washington by disseminating the warning so widely.
Modly added that he also had concerns over the firing of his predecessor, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who "lost his job because the Navy Department got crossways with the president", during the case involving Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, the paper reported. Esper said that more than half of the sailors on the ship had been tested and there were no hospitalizations.
"Captain Crozier was justifiably concerned about the health and safety of his crew, but he did not handle the huge pressure appropriately". Significantly, as one defense publication pointed out, Crozier was sacked three days after his letter became public, while ship commanders whose negligence led to collisions in which 17 sailors died-on the USS Fitzgerald and the USS John S. McCain-were not fired until 24 and 41 days had passed, respectively, and then only after preliminary investigations had been conducted.
But a Navy official familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly about it said that the captain had repeatedly asked his superiors for speedy action to evacuate the ship.