U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Monday approved a change of plan to allow the USNS Comfort to treat patients stricken by the Corona Virus, as 10,000th American died from the disease.
The U.S. Navy ship was to be used to treat non-viral patients, as an overflow from the New York hospitals. But with the shelter in place guidelines, fewer people were out, or as the president had said, “racing down the West Side Highway at 100 mph,” so there has been less need than expected.
President Trump said he was granting a request from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The ship will also be open to patients afflicted with the virus in New Jersey, across the Hudson River.
Cuomo told MSNBC: “The president spoke with the Department of Defense and granted that request to use the Navy ship Comfort for COVID patients, so that’s an additional 1000 beds with federal personnel managing that ship. So that is a welcome relief. The president granted the request, he did it quickly.”
Cuomo added: “I spoke with him this morning, and then he called back this afternoon and he said that was done”
At a press conference in Trenton, NJ, Governor Phil Murphy said: “I just got off the phone literally with the President, so the details of this are early, but we had asked if we could have, New Jersey could have access to a piece of the beds that are on the U.S.N.S Comfort. And the President came back, called me a short few minutes before I walked in here, to say indeed, they would grant that to New Jersey. So that’s a big step for us in addition to all the other capacity. That news is literally hot off the press. And I thank the President and Vice President, who are on the call together.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, the death roll from the virus has reached 10,000 people in the U.S., rising 1,800 on Sunday, while confirmed cases added 35,000 to 347,000. Worldwide, the number of deaths stood at 72,600, with more than 1.3 million cases.