A U.S. Navy hospital ship will arrive in New York City on Monday to assist the area as it handles the nation’s largest outbreak of the CCP virus.
President Donald Trump made the announcement on March 26 during the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House.
“The incredible naval hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, which is incredible actually when you see it inside, will be underway to New York City on Saturday,” Trump said.
The ship was originally scheduled to depart to the city in mid-April, but the Pentagon sped up preparation in order to deploy the vessel sooner.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo estimates that the city and the state will run short on hospital beds due to the spread of the virus. The Comfort has 1,000 beds and will be fully stocked with supplies when it deploys from Virginia.
“They did the maintenance quickly and it was going to be there for quite a while longer, another three or four weeks. It should be arriving, I told the governor twenty minutes ago—Governor Cuomo—that the ship will be arriving in New York Harbor on Monday.
New York has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak. The state’s confirmed cases surged to over 30,000 on March 26. New York City has the majority of the states cases. The CCP virus has so far killed 192 people in the city.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus, which first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, to spread throughout China before it was transmitted worldwide.
Trump said he would bid the ship farewell as it departs for New York from Norfolk, Virginia.
“I think I’m going to go out and I’ll go kiss it goodbye,” Trump said.
Trump said he had informed Cuomo about the ship’s estimated arrival time 20 minutes prior to the coronavirus briefing.
On a call with governors earlier in the day, Trump stressed the need to reopen businesses and to recognize regional differences in the virus’s impact. The White House is developing guidelines for state and local officials on whether to maintain, relax, or tighten social distancing and other anti-contagion measures. The messages are in line with Trump’s vision of starting to open up the country by Easter.
“We all have to get smart,” Trump said on the call. “We have to open up our country.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.