Updated Mar 18, 2020 - Health

Cuomo says Navy hospital ship will be deployed to New York City

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Wednesday that President Trump has agreed to deploy a floating hospital called the USNS Comfort to New York Harbor to assist the state with the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The ship's nearly 1,000 hospital beds aim to help reduce the risk of a severe bed shortage if the virus rapidly worsens and strains the state's health care system. New York has so far reported more than 2,300 cases of the virus, according to the New York Times.

  • The Navy has deployed the Comfort to previous disasters, including the Gulf Coast in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and Puerto Rico in 2017 following Hurricane Maria.

Where it stands: The governor did not provide a timeframe for when the ship will arrive in New York City. The USNS Comfort is currently under maintenance, Department of Defense spokesperson Jonathan Rath Hoffman told reporters on Wednesday, per multiple reports.

What they're saying: "This is literally a floating hospital," Cuomo said. "The president said he will dispatch that immediately."

  • Trump said he is deploying an additional hospital ship to the West Coast, according to CNN.

Of note: Cuomo also announced a mandatory statewide requirement that prevents businesses from having more than 50% of their workforce go to work outside of their home, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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