Los Angeles / New York.- The medical ships that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, sent to Los Angeles and New York to assist local hospital networks during the coronavirus pandemic have accepted fewer than 40 patients so far, despite together have 2,000 beds and 1,800 health professionals.
Specifically, in the first week since arrival at both ports, Mercy and Comfort ships have treated 17 and 20 patients, respectively, representing less than 2% of their total combined capacity.
“The total number of patients treated on board the Mercy so far reflects that the Navy dispatched this capability ahead of need, allowing the crew to train, prepare, and ultimately accept patients on the dock,” he justified. Lt. Ada Willis told Efe.RELATED
However, authorities in both cities had branded the ships’ arrival just days ago as an “incredible gift” to Los Angeles and New Yorkers.
“This incredible gift from the people of this country to the port of Los Angeles is a powerful resource for survival in our city,” applauded the Mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, last Friday.
“This ship is now the largest hospital in Los Angeles,” he added then.
As of this Friday, there have been more than 4,000 cases and 78 deaths from the new coronavirus in Los Angeles County, according to official data.
The US Navy justification, however, cannot be applied in the case of New York.
The Comfort came to the city of New York to immediately alleviate a city in sanitary crisis with 50,000 coronavirus patients and with various field hospitals installed in emblematic places such as Central Park or the facilities of the United States Tennis Open.
On the underutilization of the Navy ship moored in Manhattan, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, expressed his confidence that more income will be registered soon in his facilities, which can accommodate up to 750 patients and that between Monday, when he arrived to the city the ship, and on Thursday, they had received only 20.
“I have spoken to our fellow Navy officers. I have no doubt that that number is going to change very quickly,” De Blasio said Friday during an interview on the MSNBC station.
“I am sure that that boat will be very full soon. They have to be smart about what cases to try and create a protocol that will work because there will be a lot of movement very quickly next week,” added the mayor, who He said he was “sure” that in the next few days they will be ready.
For his part, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, recalled that the Army did not want people infected with Covid-19 and that the objective was to drain hospitals of other patients with other pathologies, among other things due to “difficulties” in later disinfecting the vessel.
“The normal rate has been drastically reduced for the hospital, where we cancel elective, non-critical surgery, and we close most of society and stay home, so fewer people get hurt, there are fewer crimes and accidents,” he recalled. Cuomo at his daily press conference, this time from Albany.
“So hospitals are not dealing with patients who experience these cases,” added the governor, who reported today that the Javits Center Manhattan field hospital is finally going to welcome coronavirus sufferers to help the system.
Faced with these numbers, a senior executive from the city’s hospital sector called the situation aboard the Comfort a “joke.”
“If I’m frank about it, this is a joke. Everyone can say, ‘Thank you for putting these wonderful places.’ But we are in crisis here, we are on a battlefield,” said Michael Dowling, head of the largest hospital system. from New York, Northwell Health, to the New York Times.
From the Armed Forces also anticipated this Friday to Efe that “as the need grows”, the two boats will be used “in a solid way”, without giving more details about it.