The US Navy has treated all of twenty people aboard the USNS Comfort, confusing some journalists as to why the ship is there in the first place.
The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City to assist with the Chinese-originated Coronavirus outbreak, is tasked with handling the overflow of patients filling NYC hospitals.
“It’s pretty ridiculous,” Michael Dowling of Northwell Health told the New York Times. “If you’re not going to help us with the people we need help with, what’s the purpose?”
However, the Comfort isn’t so much for dealing with patients who have fallen ill to Coronavirus as it is a relief point for other medical emergencies- and screening is crucial.
The Defense Department noted that President Donald Trump did not want the ship to treat Coronavirus patients, likely due to the issue of how quickly disease spreads on ships.
Capt. Patrick Amersbach, the commanding officer of the medical personnel aboard the Comfort, told the Times that the ship could be reorganized to bring on Coronavirus patients if he was ordered to do so.
While the Comfort is assigned to handle “other” cases, the issue of low patient numbers isn’t due to lack of effort: with the lockdown in place, shooting victims, car accidents and construction injuries have plummeted.
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