USNS Comfort departing for NY Saturday to provide hospital surge capacity, Trump says

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FILE – In this Dec. 18, 2018 file photo, line handlers wait as the US Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort arrives pier side at Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Va. President Donald Trump announced that the ship will travel to New York to help with coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

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WASHINGTON — The USNS Comfort will depart for New York on Saturday to provide hospital surge capacity, President Donald Trump said Thursday.

The departure is weeks earlier than planned and the USNS Comfort is expected to arrive a Pier 90 on Monday, Trump said. It will be “loaded up to the top with medical supplies.” He said he’d told the news to Gov. Andrew Cuomo right before announcing it.

The USNS Comfort, operated by the Military Sealift Command, has about 1,000 rooms, according to Gov. Cuomo.

New York does not have enough hospital space to handle the expected number of cases.

New York is projected to need about 140,000 hospital beds and only about 53,000 are available.

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