USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday and brought a huge Navy ship to relieve the burden on the urban hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.
The 1,000-bed floating hospital moored at Pier 90 in Manhattan’s west side on Monday and is scheduled to begin treating patients on Tuesday.
“Our nation heard our request for help here in New York City,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio when he greeted the ship at Pier 90. “There is no better example of how all of America is moving to New York City than the arrival.” of the USNS Comfort. “
The ship, adorned with red crosses on its white hull, will not treat coronavirus patients, but will take in other patients, including trauma cases, and release beds in local hospitals focused on fighting the pandemic. 750 beds will be available for the immediate treatment of patients.
The Comfort is staffed by 1,200 medical personnel and equipped with operating rooms, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, digital radiology, a CAT scan, two oxygen-producing systems and a helicopter deck.
“We needed that boost. We needed that hope, ”said de Blasio, calling it a“ beacon of hope ”to see the ship enter the city’s waters and“ come here to save the lives of New Yorkers in our hour of need ”.
In regular hospitals in the city, as many beds as possible are converted into intensive care units.
The Comfort was last used after the September 11 attacks in New York.
“Today, as then, we’re bringing a message to all New Yorkers: Your navy has returned and we are engaged in this fight with you,” said counter-administrator John Mustin, vice-commander of the U.S. Navy.
The ship departed from Norfolk Naval Station in Virginia on Saturday. It was just waiting when President Donald Trump promised to send it to New York, which would likely take two weeks but would take up to eight days.
The Comfort has traveled the world on humanitarian missions in the United States.
“This ship represents all the best in the American people,” said Mustin. “Now this great ship will support and serve our American citizens in this time of need.”