NJ governor says Trump to allow state patients to get care on USNS Comfort
President Trump has approved a request for the naval hospital ship the Comfort to treat New Jersey patients, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) said Monday.
“I just got off the phone with @realDonaldTrump – he granted our request for access to some of the beds on the USNS Comfort,” Murphy tweeted.
I just got off the phone with @realDonaldTrump – he granted our request for access to some of the beds on the USNS Comfort.
This is a big step for us. I thank both the President and @VP.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) April 6, 2020
The Navy ship docked in New York harbor reportedly has some 1,000 available beds.
It was slated to treat non-coronavirus patients in order to take some pressure off local hospitals, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday during his daily briefing that he would be asking Trump to shift the use of the ship to treat coronavirus patients as well.
Trump had acknowledged Sunday that the Comfort might need to be used to treat coronavirus patients.
“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,” Trump said at a White House briefing.
The Javits Center in New York City has also been set up as a temporary hospital with 2,500 available beds. The center was initially meant to treat non-coronavirus patients as well, but Trump approved Cuomo’s request to shift it to treat patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
New York and New Jersey are among the two hardest-hit states in the country, with 130,689 and 37,505 confirmed coronavirus cases, respectively, according to state data.