Navy Hospital Ship in New York Only Has 20 Patients But 1,000 Bed Capacity
The Navy hospital ship docked in New York City had just 20 patients on Thursday, according to a report from the New York Times. The USNS Comfort has the capacity to treat 1,000 patients on board but is limiting who is brought on board for treatment.
The Comfort is not treating patients with Covid-19 – a decision that has caused shock and consternation. Instead, the hospital ship is currently only treating patients who do not have 49 separate conditions, including Coronavirus. As a result, the ship was practically empty yesterday.
Patients must also be taken by ambulance to New York’s overwhelmed hospitals before they can be taken to the Comfort.
The head of New York’s largest system blasted the decision not to treat Coronavirus patients on board. Michael Dowling of Northwell Health told the Times the situation was a joke.
“If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke,” Dowling said. “Everyone can say, ‘Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.’ But we’re in a crisis here, we’re in a battlefield.”
“If you’re not going to help us with the people we need help with, what’s the purpose?”
The USNS Mercy, a medical ship docked at Los Angeles, had only 15 patients as of Thursday.