A 1,000-bed U.S. Navy hospital ship was rushed back into service to provide medical help to New York City, now the epicenter of the nation’s outbreak.
The ship, USNS Comfort, is scheduled to arrive Monday at a Manhattan pier a week after its sister ship, the USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles to preform similar duty on the West Coast.
President Donald Trump traveled to Norfolk Naval Station to see the ship off on Saturday as he aims to highlight the federal response to the pandemic.
The ship has 12 operating rooms as well as radiology suites and a CT scanner. It also has ICU beds, a lab and a pharmacy.
The president said 1,200 Navy medical personnel will be aboard the1,000-bed hospital ship to provide medical care. However, Trump stated the ship will not be used to house COVID-19 positive patients. Instead, it will serve to treat other life-threatening emergencies. Patients with the new coronavirus will continue to be treated at hospitals on land.
Before departing the White House Saturday, Trump told reporters he has spoken with some governors and is considering some type of an enforceable quarantine to prevent people in New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut from traveling.
He told reporters at the White House that it would be for a “short period of time, if we do it at all.”
The president says he's spoken with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and New York's Andrew Cuomo. However, Cuomo said at a briefing in New York that he didn't talk about any quarantine during a conversation Saturday with Trump.
Watch the send-off and the president's remarks from Norfolk Naval Station below: