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The commanding officer of the Comfort’s medical staff, Capt. Patrick Amersbach said at a news conference, per the Times, that if they are instructed to welcome COVID-19 patients, they can make the arrangements. “If our mission shifts,” he said, “we do what we can to meet that mission.”
According to data compiled by the Times, New York has the most confirmed cases and deaths in the coronavirus outbreak of any state in the U.S., with at least 92,770 confirmed cases and 2,653 deaths as of April 3.
“We’re dealing with an unprecedented crisis in New York City. We are losing people every day,” N.Y.C. Mayor Bill de Blasio said last Thursday. “… The next few months will be painful and stress our health care system like never before.”
On Saturday, President Donald Trump spoke at a press conference as he sent off the Comfort to assist N.Y.C. “This great ship behind me is a 70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York,” he said at the time.
Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said last Thursday said the Comfort’s more than 1,200 medical staffers would “augment and support” the city’s health care system and “conserve hospital capacity by treating some non-COVID-19 patients.”
During a press conference on Thursday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said that 21,000 out-of-state health care workers are making the trip to N.Y.C. to help in the worsening outbreak.
“God bless America,” Cuomo said as he announced the news. “I thank them. I thank their patriotism. I thank their dedication and passion … These are beautiful, generous people — and New Yorkers will return the favor.”
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.
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