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The U.S. military is analyzing "all options" to bring relief to local communities in the battle against the novel coronavirus pandemic, which has spread throughout the country and infected more than 203,000 people.
Already, the Navy has two hospital ships deployed – the USNS Comfort in New York and the USNS Mercy in Los Angeles — in an effort to provide aid to hospitals in the metropolises that are flooded with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Bringing in two more hospital ships to help treat patients with non-coronavirus issues is one possibility.
“We're looking at all options,” Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Thursday. “So whether it be ships or whether it be continued use of some of these transition of other areas. And so we're looking, the Department of Defense is looking at all options.”
To keep hospitals focused on treating patients with COVID-19, O’Shaughnessy said the Navy ships have been specifically designed to treat high trauma and provide high-end care to patients with severe health issues such as heart attacks, car accidents and essential surgeries.
US Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives pier side at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. Dec. 18, 2018. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
O’Shaughnessy said even though adding more ships won’t be the “final answer” to the pandemic, he’s proud to be a part of an effective whole nation approach.
“This ‘whole of America’ approach is the right approach,” he said. “We're a part of that. And we're looking to bring additional assets to bear on this.”
O'Shaugnessy said that although the U.S. will experience "tough, challenging times" in the near future, he is optimistic that the nation will come out stronger once the pandemic ends.
“We're trying to bring everything we can to bear from the U.S. military to help bring relief," he said. "We’re going to prevail."