After Several Mix-ups Trump Will Allow Empty USNS Comfort to Treat Corona Patients

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A Navy spokeswoman told the N.Y Post Multiple coronavirus patients were mistakenly transferred from New York’s Javits Center to the Navy hospital ship Comfort on Friday, according to Fox News, citing three US officials.

These mix-ups apparently prompted a sudden change as NJ Governor Murphy tweeted: President Trump has approved a request for the naval hospital ship the Comfort to treat New Jersey patients, The Hill reported

The 1,000-bed US Navy ship, which docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side after its arrival Monday, is intended for non-COVID-19 patients only.

Until Friday, Javits Center was only treating non-coronavirus cases until President Trump – at NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s request – authorized the facility to bring on COVID-19 patients. This meant that the existing patients at Javits – a few dozen – had to be transferred to Comfort some 10 blocks away. The ship is only supposed to treat trauma patients, not those infected with coronavirus.

The number of coronavirus patients on board Comfort is “less than five,” according to one official. Of note, the patients had initially screened as negative for the virus, while up to half of those infected with coronavirus show no symptoms, according to new data. Now there will be NJ Codid-19 victims.

The top general leading the coronavirus response for the U.S. military told Fox News there was another COVID-19 patient who showed up to the hospital ship Comfort in New York earlier Saturday after being delivered by ambulance. The patient later that a “few” patients did test positive after arriving at the ship, but only while still isolated from the non-COVID-19 patients on board.

“They were isolated immediately upon arrival and received care for the entirety of their time aboard the ship” before being transferred to the Javits Center, which is now treating COVID-19 patients, said the spokeswoman, Lt. Marycate Walsh.

The Comfort in general has around 20 patients’ period while having 1000 beds.  A tangle of military protocols and bureaucratic hurdles has prevented the Comfort from accepting many patients at all, the NY Times reported.

The Times explained:  Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.

Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.

 

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