Apr 4, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump blasts U.S. Navy captain who sounded alarm about coronavirus

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday said he agreed with the Pentagon's decision to relieve Capt. Brett Crozier of the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt after the captain sent a letter to officials pleading for help as members of his crew contracted the coronavirus.

What he's saying: "The letter was a five-page letter from a captain, and the letter was all over the place," Trump said at a White House briefing on Saturday. "That's not appropriate. I don't think that's appropriate. And these are tough people. These are tough, strong people. I thought it looked terrible, to be honest with you."

  • "I thought it was terrible what he did — to write a letter, I mean this isn't a class on literature, this is a captain of a massive ship that's nuclear-powered. And he shouldn't be talking that way in a letter, he could call and ask and suggest."
  • "But he stopped in Vietnam, a lot people got off the boat, they came back, and they had infections. And I thought it was inappropriate for the captain of a ship. ... I agree with their decision 100%," the president said, referring to Crozier's dismissal.

Driving the news: A group of Democratic senators asked the office of the Department of Defense Inspector General on Friday to investigate the U.S. Navy's response to the COVID-19 outbreak aboard the ship.

Background: By Saturday, almost 150 of the nearly 5,000 crew members had tested positive for COVID-19, the Washington Post reports.

  • 2,700 more people are expected to get off the ship this week, after 1,000 crew members have left to enter isolation. Some will remain behind to ensure the safety of weapons onboard.

Go deeper: Navy removes captain of aircraft carrier who sounded alarm about coronavirus

Go deeper

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

In photos: Protests intensify across the U.S. over George Floyd's death

Protesters outside the Capitol in Washington, DC, on May 29. Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

Mass protests in Atlanta, New York City and Washington, D.C., sparked clashes with police on Friday, as demonstrators demanded justice for the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after at least one police officer knelt on his neck on Monday.

The big picture: The officer involved in the killing of Floyd was charged with third-degree murder on Friday, after protests continued in Minneapolis for three days.

Zuckerberg says Trump’s “shooting” tweet didn’t violate Facebook’s rules

Mark Zuckerberg at the 56th Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany on February 15. Photo: Abdulhamid Hosbas/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Facebook did not remove President Trump's threat to send the National Guard to Minneapolis because the company's policy on inciting violence allows discussion on state use of force, CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained in a post on Friday.

The big picture: Zuckerberg's statement comes on the heels of leaked internal criticism from Facebook employees over how the company handled Trump's posts about the Minneapolis protests and his unsubstantiated claims on mail-in ballots — both of which Twitter has now taken action on.