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.

Go deeper: No part of the U.S. has enough hospital beds for a coronavirus crisis

Go deeper

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll tops 3,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus surpassed 3,000 late Monday.

The state of play: There were more than 164,000 confirmed cases in the U.S. early Tuesday — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data. The COVID-19 death toll stood at 3,170. The number of recoveries had risen to more than 5,900.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

Why the U.S. doesn't have more hospital beds

Adapted from OECD; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The shortage of hospital beds in the U.S. didn't happen by accident. It's a result of both market pressures and public policy.

Why it matters: The bed shortage is one of many factors complicating America's response to the new coronavirus. But if we want to have more beds and critical equipment on hand for the next pandemic, the government will need to make it happen — and pay for it.

Go deeperArrowMar 30, 2020 - Health

Trump considers quarantine for states near epicenter of U.S. coronavirus outbreak

President Trump speaks to the press on March 28 in Washington, DC. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Trump said on Saturday he is considering a "short term" quarantine of New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut — areas congruent with the New York metro area, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus in the U.S.

Reality check: These states have already taken steps to quarantine residents and promote social distancing to combat COVID-19. The governors of New York and New Jersey issued statewide stay-at-home orders last week, and non-essential businesses in Connecticut were ordered to close as of this Monday.