President Trump said Sunday that the Navy hospital ship docked off Manhattan could be used to treat coronavirus patients “if we need it.”
The 1,000 bed USNS Comfort, which was intended to treat hospital overflow patients not infected with the virus, had been largely under-utilized — with just 20 patients there last Thursday.
“That was not supposed to be about the virus at all, under any circumstances,” Trump said about the ship during a daily White House coronavirus task force press briefing.
“But it looks like, more and more, we’re going to be using it for that,” he said.
The president added that “if we need it for the virus, we will be using it for that.”
Last Friday, several coronavirus patients were mistakenly transferred to the vessel from the Javits Center, which has been converted to a 3,000-bed field hospital that does permit coronavirus patients, Fox News reported.
Trump also announced a Monday shipment of 600,000 N95 masks to New York City’s public hospital system.