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The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds, 12 operating rooms and a full medical staff, is scheduled to arrive in New York City on Monday, and crews on the West Side pier have been preparing over the weekend for its arrival.
Several city agencies have worked together to deepen the area in which the hospital ship can come in to dock.
“A number of city agencies, including New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Office of Emergency Management, have been dredging the berth at Manhattan Cruise Terminal’s Pier 90, where the USNS Comfort will dock, to ensure there is sufficient depth in the slip,” Chris Singleton, a spokesman for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, told USA TODAY.
The hospital ship will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients to free up space in city hospitals to deal with the outbreak.
New York state’s coronavirus death toll surpassed 1,000 on Sunday. The state has accounted for over 40 percent of coronavirus deaths in the U.S., and most of the state’s cases have been in New York City.
“This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York, a place I know very well, a place I love,” Trump said in Norfolk, Va. “We’re here for you. We’re fighting for you and we’re with you all the way and we always will be.”
He continued, “You have the unwavering support of the entire nation.”
Before saluting the “fully loaded” ship farewell from the pier, Trump praised the 1,200 medical personnel aboard as the military’s “greatest weapon” in the pandemic response.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.