President Trump announced on Thursday that the USNS Comfort will arrive in New York Harbor on Monday to provide hospital surge capacity for the New York metropolitan area as it combats the coronavirus.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
President Trump said he will head to Naval Station Norfolk on Saturday to send off the hospital ship, which will be "loaded to the top" with medical supplies.
"I think I'm going to go out and kiss it goodbye", Trump said. "I will go and we'll be waving together".
(U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Chelsea Kennedy/Released)
The ship was originally undergoing repairs from a six-month tour in South America, a delay that was supposed to last another three or four weeks, but the Navy "did the maintenance very quickly", Trump said.
Trump said the ship will "provide hospital surge capacity for the New York metropolitan area.” The USNS Comfort will provide an additional 1000 hospital beds for the state. On Tuesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said New York is currently using 53,000 hospital beds and could potentially need 140,000 additional beds to deal with the pandemic.
New York is currently the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, with 37,877 cases according to Johns Hopkins University.