The USNS Comfort, a hospital ship with about 1,000 beds that recently arrived in New York City, will soon be able to accept COVID-19 patients after it had originally been set up as an overflow facility for non-coronavirus patients.
President Trump said he spoke with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and that both states plan to utilize the ship.
“New Jersey is a hot spot,” Mr. Trump said at the White House. “So Gov. Murphy and Gov. Cuomo are going to be using the ship…it’s set for COVID. Hopefully that will be very helpful to both states.”
New York and New Jersey are ranked first and second, respectively, in the number of coronavirus cases and coronavirus-related deaths among U.S. states.
“That is a welcome relief, and the president granted the request – he did it quickly,” Mr. Cuomo said on MSNBC.
“If you help me for New York, I will call it the way it is and say you delivered, and he delivered today,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And if I don’t think the federal government is meeting its responsibility, I’ll say that.”
The president swiftly granted a similar request last week to allow the Javits Convention Center in New York City, which has been set up as a makeshift 2,500-bed hospital, to accept coronavirus patients.
Both the Comfort and the Javits Center were originally supposed to be for non-COVID patients and had been intended to free up space for coronavirus patients at other hospitals as New York strains to accommodate the increased demand.
Mr. Cuomo had expressed hope on Monday that the state is starting to see a “flattening of the curve” amid the coronavirus outbreak, but said residents still need to adhere to social distancing rules.