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Trump Dispatches Navy Hospital Ships to New York Harbor

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President Donald Trump is dispatching a Navy hospital ship to the New York Harbor.

Cases of the novel coronavirus in New York have skyrocketed in the last 24 hours, reaching 2,382 confirmed cases on Wednesday, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The Navy hospital ship is equipped with 1,000 hospital beds, which officials hope will ease the burden on New York City hospitals.

“They are in tip-top shape,” Trump said.

The ship headed to New York City is the USNS Comfort. Trump is also deploying a second U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, to the West Coast.

“The Comfort, which has about 1,000 rooms on it, will be moored in New York Harbor,” Cuomo said. “Hospital beds are what we need.”

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the ships are being prepared to deploy to hot spots and help relieve the burden on hospitals across the U.S. Because the ships aren’t conducive to treating infectious disease outbreaks, defense officials said they expect the ships to take on non-coronavirus patients so medical facilities can fight the virus, Politico reported.

“Our capabilities are focused on trauma. … They don’t have necessarily the segregated spaces that you need to deal with infectious diseases,” Esper said.

He added that ships could “take the pressure off of civilian hospitals when it comes to trauma cases to open up civilian hospital rooms for infectious diseases.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, there are now more than 211,000 confirmed coronavirus cases globally, and at least 7,300 in the United States, according to Johns Hopkins.

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Isaac Saul is a senior politics reporter, editor and founding member at A Plus, the positive news oulet founded by Ashton Kutcher. He also writes the independent, non-partisan, ad-free politics newsletter Tangle. His reporting focuses on Congress, elections, immigration and climate change. His writing has appeared in CNN, The New York Daily News, The Forward, Yahoo!, The Huffington Post, Quartz, and been cited by The Washington Post, The New York Times and Fox News, among others. Before A Plus, he was an Associate Editor at The Huffington Post and the sports editor at The Pitt News.




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