(AmericanPoliticalDaily.Com)- The situation in New York City is getting so bad that the United States Navy is sending a hospital ship to assist with the coronavirus crisis. USNS Comfort is expected to arrive as early as next week, according to Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.
“We’ve accelerated the plan for Comfort,” Modly confirmed on Thursday. “We had originally been looking at April 3, but in all likelihood, she’s going to be getting underway this weekend, so hopefully she’ll be there in New York by the early part of next week.”
The U.S. Navy hospital ship will give New York medical workers an additional 1,000 beds to alleviate the stress put on the city’s hospitals caused by a huge influx of coronavirus patients. Such a drastic move comes as New York state, but mostly New York City, continues to see rapid growth in coronavirus infections. More than 32,000 cases have been reported so far, making up roughly 50% of all cases in the United States.
Interestingly, USNS Comfort will not be used to treat coronavirus patients. Instead, the 1,000 beds will be used to help reduce the strain put on civilian hospitals. Regular patients may be moved to the ship while the hospitals are used to continue treating thousands of coronavirus patients who need access to ventilators.
Splitting the patients between the ship and regular hospitals would be difficult at this point, as New York medical professionals engage in experimental procedures that involve splitting ventilators between multiple patients.
When the Comfort arrives, it will come with over 1,100 active-duty Navy medical personnel, as well as 60 reserve staff. The ship is currently on its way to the city from Norfolk, Virginia.
Governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, has predicted the state could need as many as 110,000 beds to treat patients in the coming weeks, but only has around 53,000 beds available so far. Cuomo previously claimed that medical experts believed peak infections may occur in mid-April, but that time may actually come much sooner.
This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio went as far as suggesting that half of New Yorkers may ultimately contract the coronavirus.
USNS Mercy, another Navy hospital ship, is currently on its way to Los Angeles and expected to arrive this week.