USNS Comfort hospital ship deploying to New York, history

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the USNS Comfort — the US Navy’s 1,000-bed hospital ship with decades of providing aid around the world — will be deployed to New York amid the coronavirus pandemic.

There are currently 2,382 confirmed cases in New York State, and the USNS Comfort ship is expected to arrive in April.

“The deployment of the USNS Comfort to New York is an extraordinary but necessary step to help ensure our state has the capacity to handle an influx of patients with COVID-19 and continue our efforts to contain the virus,” Cuomo said in a statement.

New York has 50,000 hospital beds and 3,000 intensive care unit beds, but a “Wuhan-style” outbreak could “overwhelm the city,” former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. The 1,000-bed ship will also have 12 operating rooms, therefore hopefully mitigating New York’s concern over the decreasing number of available hospital beds. 

The USNS Comfort has had a long history of being at the forefront of health crises around the world. Keep scrolling to learn about the ship that will soon be seen in New York:

The Comfort has been docked in Norfolk, Virginia since 2013, according to the US Navy.

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Naval officers in the USNS Comfort in 2019.

Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images


Source: US Navy

Along with hospital beds and operating rooms, the USNS Comfort has several features that can also be found in hospitals.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images



…an optometry area, a computed tomography — or CAT — scan, and two “oxygen producing plants,” according to the US Navy.

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The CAT scan machine in the USNS Comfort in 2019.


Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images



The ship has a total crew of 71 civilians and at most, 1,200 Navy personnel from the medical and communications teams.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images



The ship was originally a San Clemente-class super oil tanker before it was converted to what is now the USNS Comfort in 1987.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Joe Skipper/Getty Images



The USNS Comfort has been deployed for a wide range of purposes throughout its life.

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Vice President Mike Pence aboard the USNS Comfort in 2019.


Joe Skipper/Getty Images



For example, in 2010, the USNS Comfort was sent to Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that ravaged the country.

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Medical staff and a patient aboard the USNS Comfort in 2010.


Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images



In 2015, the ship was also deployed for 180 days for “Continuing Promise.”

USNS Comfort in 2015

USNS Comfort in 2015.


Dieu Nalio Chery



Continuing Promise led the USNS Comfort to 11 countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean on a “humanitarian and civil assistance mission” for six months,” according to the US Navy.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Rhona WIse/AFP via Getty Images



Source: US Navy

In 2018, the Comfort was again deployed to Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Honduras for “Enduring Promise,” according to the US Department of Defense.

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Line handlers by the USNS Comfort in 2018.


Steve Helber/AP Photo



Source: US Department of Defense

The USNS Comfort’s Enduring Promise tour lasted from October 11, 2018, to December 20, 2018, allowing the US to provide medical assistance to each of the nations.

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A medical team and a patient in the USNS Comfort in 2018.


Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters



In 2019, the Comfort embarked on a five-month humanitarian trip to 12 countries, providing surgeries, dental care, and optometry, and medicine to almost 69,000 patients, according to Navy Live.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Rhona Wise/AFP/Getty Images



The USNS Comfort then played a role throughout Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm from August 1990 to April 1991.

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USNS Comfort in 2019.


Joe Skipper/Getty Images



The Comfort’s sister hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, will also be deployed. However, it will be docked in San Diego, according to the US Naval Institute News.

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A surgery aboard the USNS Comfort in 2018.


Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters



Source: US Naval Institute News

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By |2020-03-19T16:26:53+00:00March 19th, 2020|Business|Comments Off on USNS Comfort hospital ship deploying to New York, history
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