Navy Captain Brett Crozier was fired after a letter he wrote to military officials about the challenge of trying to contain a COVID-19 outbreak on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt. In a now unclassified memo to Navy personnel, Crozier requested “decisive action” to contain the virus’ spread on the aircraft carrier. That memo was leaked to the press, which led to Crozier’s dismissal.
Crozier’s crew chanted his name and applauded him as he exited the ship, and the moments were captured on video. Following Crozier’s firing and show of popularity among his crew, the Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly addressed the ship and called Crozier "too naive or too stupid" to command the aircraft carrier that had become overrun with COVID-19 cases.
The speech was received poorly, and Modly resigned on Tuesday in the face of outcry from lawmakers and retired Navy officers that he had acted inappropriately. A Yahoo News/YouGov Poll shows that more than half (58%) of Americans have read or heard about Captain Crozier. Just one-third (33%) have not.
After reading a brief description of the controversy, just 13 percent of Americans say that Crozier should have been fired. Over two-thirds (69%) of US adults said he should not. There is a bipartisan belief that Crozier should not have been fired. A majority of Democrats (83%), Independents (67%), and Republicans (57%) agree.
See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Yahoo News/YouGov Poll