President Donald Trump visited the Norfolk Port in Virginia on Saturday. The head of state attended the ceremony of sending the floating hospital to New York harbor, where the hospital ship should help city hospitals crowded due to the influx of patients with the new coronavirus.
USNS Comfort is expected to arrive in New York on Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday. The vessel is equipped with 1000 beds for patients not infected with coronavirus, which will free up places in hospitals and relieve local doctors, who can concentrate on treating patients infected with COVID-19.
Yesterday, Andrew Cuomo answered journalists’ questions at a press conference held at the Jacob Javits Center in Manhattan, turned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers into a temporary hospital to treat thousands of patients with coronavirus.
“It will be weeks, weeks, and weeks,” Cuomo said, addressing the military. “You are participating in a rescue mission … And no matter how hard we work, we cannot save everyone.”
The commander of the Engineering Corps, Lieutenant General Todd Semonight, said that by Monday morning in the center of Javits, 2910 hospital wards will be equipped.
Army Chief of Staff James McConville said earlier this week that two Army Hospital units with 300 beds will be able to start receiving New York patients on Monday.
New York is desperately trying to increase capacity to treat patients, as the number of cases of coronavirus infection continues to grow. According to Cuomo, the state now has 53,000 beds, but 140,000 patients with coronavirus will be hospitalized in the coming days.
Last Friday, the hospital ship Mercyhospital arrived in Los Angeles, which will help city doctors cope with an outbreak of coronavirus. Like Comfort, the ship is equipped with 1000 beds for patients not infected with COVID-19.
Another temporary army hospital with 250 beds will soon be deployed in Seattle.
General John Heiten, deputy chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday that the military would soon have to help several more outbreaks of the disease, including in the city of Chicago, Michigan, Florida and Louisiana.
The Army Corps of Engineers is setting up beds for 3,000 patients with COVID-19 at the McCormick Convention Center in Chicago by the end of April.
In total, the Engineering Corps is currently examining 114 facilities across the country where hospital beds can be placed to treat patients with coronavirus.
More than 12,000 US National Guard employees are now involved in the coronavirus pandemic. Guardsmen, among others, are involved in food delivery and screen for symptoms in sick people.
By Friday morning, 613 US Department of Defense personnel were infected with the coronavirus worldwide, including 309 military personnel, 134 Pentagon civilian employees, 108 military family members and 62 contracted personnel.
The victims of the virus among Pentagon employees were two people in Virginia – a military contractor and a member of the military family, according to the Department of Defense.