Navy’s USNS Comfort hospital ship arrives in NYC

Kimberly Dole
March 30, 2020 - 10:15 am

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived in the New York Harbor on Monday morning to help relieve the city's coronavirus crisis.

The USNS Comfort, which was sent to New York City after 9/11, will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with coronavirus.

"What a morale boost, to see our military here to help us in such a powerful way," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday morning. "This was supposed to take two weeks to make it possible to dock. They did it in eight days." 

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WATCH: The USNS Comfort arrives in New York City as "God Bless America" plays in the background (credit: Barb Nittolo)

The ship is there to take the pressure on the hospitals so they can focus on the worse cases of coronavirus, de Blasio added.

U.S. Navy ship
Joe Cingrana

Gov. Andrew Cuomo greeted the vessel as it docked at pier 90.

"The USNS Comfort seen sailing to New York Harbor from a NYS escort vessel. The Comfort brings 1,000 much-needed hospital beds & 1,200 personnel to New York. I'll be in NYC to receive a briefing upon its arrival," Gov. Cuomo tweeted.

In addition to the 1,000 beds, the Comfort has 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours.

"Right now the toughest weeks are still ahead, but we are grateful," de Blasio adds.

"I affirm to you when the battle is done here, New York City will stand firm to the rest of the nation, we will send venitilators and supplies and doctors to wherever it's needed in our nation," the mayor said. 

The ship’s arrival comes as New York state's death toll from the coronavirus outbreak climbed Sunday above 1,000, less than a month after the first known infection in the state.

Most of those deaths have occurred in just the past few days.

New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, reported Sunday that its toll had risen to 776. The total number of statewide deaths isn't expected to be released until Monday, but with at least 250 additional deaths recorded outside the city as of Sunday morning, the state's total fatalities was at least 1,026. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.