A Navy hospital ship will deploy to New York City this weekend to alleviate the onslaught of coronavirus patients filling the area's hospitals, President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE told reporters Thursday.
Trump will travel to Norfolk, Va., on Saturday to bid farewell to the USNS Comfort. The ship is expected to dock in New York on Monday, roughly a week ahead of schedule after it had to undergo repairs.
"I’ll kiss it goodbye," Trump said during a coronavirus briefing on Thursday. "It’s in Virginia, as you know, and I will go and we’ll be waving together because I suspect the media will be following."
The trip to Norfolk will be Trump's first time leaving Washington, D.C., in a little more than two weeks. He has remained largely hunkered down in the White House as the virus has spread across the country.
Multiple White House officials and lawmakers Trump has been around have self-quarantined after coming into contact with individuals with the virus.
@realDonaldTrump will travel to Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday to bid bon voyage to the hospital ship USNS Comfort as it leaves for New York City to respond to #COVID2019, sailing well ahead of schedule. @USNavy— Judd Deere (@JuddPDeere45) March 26, 2020
The USNS Comfort will be loaded up with critical supplies and medical professionals as it sails to its destination in New York. The ship will be used to treat patients who are not infected with coronavirus to create additional hospital space for those patients in the city.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) and New York City Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York to start weekly COVID-19 testing in schools Three arrested for allegedly assaulting NYC hostess who asked for COVID-19 vaccine proof Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report MORE have warned that the city's hospitals will soon be at capacity with coronavirus patients, and a New York Times story published Wednesday illustrated how some facilities are already struggling with overcrowding because of the pandemic.
There are more than 82,000 cases of coronavirus in the U.S. as of early Thursday evening, and more than 1,100 Americans have died of the disease. Nearly 300 of those deaths have come from New York City.
Another Naval hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, has been dispatched to Los Angeles.