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NYC: Trump’s floating hospital brings disappointment

By Michela Martinazzi |
April 3, 2020
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USNS Comfort in NYC.
USNS Comfort in NYC.

New York, NY – On, April 2, the New York Times reported that the U.S. Naval Ship Comfort, the 1000-bed navy hospital, had 3 patients. The USNS Mercy - the West Coast counterpart - had 15. Both crews of 1200 each were largely idle and some reported that they were bored. While beds remain empty and crews remain idle, the New York City system is overrun with patients.

Nurses and doctors are taking social media to ask anyone who is listening to donate PPE equipment. There are pictures of nurses wearing trash bags as methods to protect themselves being infected, and in turn infecting their other patients. Cases in New York State have soared to 83,948 — which is higher than China during its peak. New York City has over half of those and stands alarmingly at 49,707. As of April 2, Cuomo said that another 432 New Yorkers died overnight from complications of COVID-19.

The city is in dire need of help and the help promised by the federal government has turned out to be a farce.

The procedure to get admitted to the U.S.N.S Comfort is long and takes a further toll on the overworked New York hospital staff. First, an ambulance can’t take you directly to the naval ship sitting pretty on Pier 90, but must drop you off at a local hospital. Once you arrive at a local hospital, patients have to go through extensive tests to ensure that they don’t have COVID-19. Once that’s confirmed, another ambulance can then take that patient to the ship where they can get care.

Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system, told the New York Times the ship is “a joke.”