Well-Being Prevention & Cures

With hospital system near collapse, Mississippi begs for hospital ship to rescue state

Story at a glance

  • Surging coronavirus cases in Mississippi led state health officials to request a military ship from the Biden administration.
  • The state’s Director of Health Protection Jim Craig said Mississippi requested a military hospital ship like the USNS Comfort.
  • Intensive care units across the state are at 85 percent capacity, while hospital beds statewide are 65 percent full.

Surging coronavirus cases in Mississippi led state health officials to request a military ship from the Biden administration to prevent the collapse of its health care system. 

The state’s Director of Health Protection Jim Craig said Mississippi requested a military hospital ship like the USNS Comfort, which treated ailing patients in New York last year, according to ABC News.

“We began conversations with them,” Craig said during a briefing. “The way that you do that is put a request in for the resource. So we have requested information about how the USNS Comfort and-or its resources could … come and provide assistance in the state of Mississippi.”

University of Mississippi School of Medicine Dean LouAnn Woodward said Wednesday the University of Mississippi Medical Center is treating 127 COVID-19 patients and 26 of them are children, ABC reported. Woodward added that 90 percent of the patients hospitalized due to the virus are not vaccinated. 

“The Mississippi hospital system will fail within the next five to seven or 10 days if the current trajectory continues,” she said.


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Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R)  previously said the state needs about 920 healthcare workers due to a labor shortage. 

“Honestly, the real challenge is NOT the physical beds hospital beds or ICU beds. The challenge is our hospitals may not have an adequate number of health care professionals (docs, nurses, respiratory therapists, etc.) to staff those beds,” Reeves wrote on Facebook

“Unfortunately, I’ve been advised hospitals throughout Mississippi have lost nearly 2,000 nurses over the last year,” he added. “There is a labor shortage in most industries throughout America today and health care is no different.”


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Data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center shows intensive care units across the state are at 85 percent capacity, while hospital beds statewide are 68 percent full. 

Mississippi reported more than 3,100 new COVID-19 cases and 25 deaths in the past day, bringing the total reported cases to nearly 19,000 in the past week. 

The state has fully vaccinated 35.6 percent of its population, administering nearly 2.3 million total doses. 


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