President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump orders US troops back to active duty for coronavirus response Trump asserts power to decide info inspector general for stimulus gives Congress Fighting a virus with the wrong tools MORE on Saturday saw the USNS Comfort off as it departed Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia for New York City, where it will serve as an emergency hospital for the city’s coronavirus patients.
“Our country is at war with an invisible enemy,” Trump said, referring to COVID-19. “We are marshaling the full power of the American nation … to vanquish the virus, and we will do that.”
Trump also referred to the ship as a “70,000-ton message of hope and solidarity to the incredible people of New York.”
Trump and Esper watch the USNS Comfort leave the pier pic.twitter.com/5YmqZFnREc
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 28, 2020
The ship will be able to house 1,000 patients and is one of several emergency hospitals New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has been working to set up before the virus reaches its apex in the Empire State.
The governor said on Saturday that there are 52,318 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York, including 7,681 new cases. At least 728 people in the state have died because of the virus.
Cuomo reiterated that the apex could occur in 14 to 21 days. At that time, New York would need an estimated 140,000 hospital beds and 40,000 ICU beds. Cuomo has also predicted that the state will need between 30,000 and 40,000 respirators, an estimate the state is currently well short of.