New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Friday that he will call Defense Secretary Mark Esper to resolve why the USNS Comfort is refusing to take coronavirus patients amid a growing row over the issue. The Comfort steamed into New York Harbor to cheers and applause on Monday and was viewed by many New Yorkers as long overdue help from the federal government. It was intended as an overflow hospital for the strained New York City health system, and officials said from the outset that it would provide 1,000 beds for non-coronavirus patients. Its hesitation in accepting COVID-19 patients was that it would be a complex operation to disinfect the ship once the pandemic was over. But as New York City’s death toll climbed past 1,500 and as hospitals began reaching their limits, some health executives said it was ‘a joke’ the ship was not being put to use to house COVID-19 patients. Cuomo was diplomatic when asked about it on Friday morning and said during his daily briefing that he would phone Esper to try to resolve the issue. ‘I did not speak to the president about the Comfort. The original agreement was [that] it was for non-COVID people. … Read full this story
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