The New York Times reports:
Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan’s west side to catch a glimpse.
On Thursday, though, the huge white vessel, which officials had promised would bring succor to a city on the brink, sat mostly empty, infuriating executives at local hospitals. The ship’s 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle.
On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
This is wild. The Navy isn’t accepting people with Covid19 onto the ship, and “is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance” https://t.co/XN5tTTcy8b
— Natasha Bertrand (@NatashaBertrand) April 3, 2020
A 1,000-bed Navy ship was supposed to relieve New York City hospitals overwhelmed by the virus outbreak. Instead, it has only 3 patients. https://t.co/eT64MeReHZ
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 3, 2020
With great fanfare, Trump traveled to Norfolk, Va., to personally see off the ship, saying it would play a “critical role.”
There are only 20 patients on board. A top NY hospital official says, “It’s a joke” https://t.co/YNMYOEU9fe
— Chris Lu (@ChrisLu44) April 3, 2020