Cuomo says he'll ask Trump to shift USNS Comfort to treat coronavirus patients

Cuomo says he'll ask Trump to shift USNS Comfort to treat coronavirus patients
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New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoNYC resending absentee ballots to roughly 100,000 people New York City reports uptick in COVID-19 cases as schools try to reopen Will winter bring a new round of COVID-19 outbreaks? MORE (D) said Monday he will ask President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE to shift the use of a Navy ship docked in New York harbor to treat coronavirus patients 

The USNS Comfort had originally been set as a facility for patients without the coronavirus, but Cuomo said there is not a large need for patients without COVID-19. 

There are fewer car accidents, trauma cases and less crime as a “byproduct of shutting everything down,” Cuomo said. 

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“We don’t need the Comfort for non-COVID patients, we need it for COVID. If we had those two facilities as a relief valve that would make a significant difference,” he said, referring to the Comfort and the Javits Center.

The Javits Center has been set up as a temporary hospital with 2,500 beds to treat coronavirus patients. The Javits Center had initially been set up to treat non-COVID-19 patients, but Trump approved Cuomo’s request to shift the facility to treat patients with the virus. 

Cuomo said he will be calling Trump to ask him to shift the 1,000 beds on the Comfort to treat coronavirus patients, adding that Trump has been helpful to New York and “moved very quickly” in the past. 

“I’m going to ask him if we can make this adjustment for us because it would be truly beneficial,” Cuomo said. “We would feel much better knowing that we can sustain this pace if we could start to offload patients to these two facilities.” 

Trump acknowledged Sunday night the Comfort might need to be used to treat coronavirus patients. 

"That was not supposed to be for the virus at all, under any circumstances. But it looks like, more and more, we're going to be using it for that. So we'll see," Trump said at the White House briefing. 

"If we need it for the virus, we will be using it for that.  They'd prefer not, for obvious reasons, but if for any reason they need it, it's ready, willing, and able," he added.