Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn announced on Wednesday that she would like to have the 1,000-bed USNS Mercy back to help address the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
Hahn announced Wednesday that she has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to work to bring the hospital ship back to Los Angeles County and call in the National Guard's medical units, citing exhausted healthcare workers and overwhelmed hospitals.
"They need backup," Hahn wrote in a letter to the governor. "This surge is the crisis that we dreaded all along. We need as much support as we can get for our healthcare workers, and we need the USNS Mercy back in the Port of Los Angeles."
President Donald Trump, at the request of Newsom, deployed the Mercy to Los Angeles for additional capacity to relieve pressure on hospitals as the city fought against the CCP virus outbreak. While its sister ship USNS Comfort was reconfigured to treat patients with COVID-19 in New York, the USNS Mercy served as a referral hospital for regular patients only.
"By serving these emergency patients away from the hospitals, beds will be opened up all over the city for those who are infected," Trump said in March. "This ship can handle a lot of people, so it will open capacity all over the city."
The USNS Mercy arrived at the World Cruise Center Terminal in the Port of Los Angeles on Mar. 27. By the time of her departure on May 15 for the San Diego home base, the ship ultimately housed 77 patients from LA-area hospitals and her medical treatment facility performed 36 successful treatments.
"I also ask that you call on our federal partners to bring back the U.S.N.S. Mercy with accompanying medical staff to the Port of Los Angeles," Hahn wrote in the letter. "Our public health experts warn that the worst is yet to come with the anticipated incoming Christmas and New Year's holiday surge, so I urge you to act now and equip our hospitals with additional healthcare workers and resources to save as many lives as possible."
Hahn's request comes as a rapid increase in daily CCP virus infections across the state of California. Los Angeles County's health officials on Wednesday confirmed another 274 COVID-19 deaths Wednesday, bringing the overall pandemic death count to 10,056.