Hospital Ship Arriving in N.Y. to Help in Coronavirus Fight: Live Updates

 Hospital Ship Arriving in N.Y. to Help in Coronavirus Fight: Live Updates

The Navy hospital ship promised by President Trump earlier this month departed Virginia over the weekend and is expected to arrive in New York on Monday, officials said.

The hospital ship, the Comfort, is equipped with 12 operating rooms, hospital beds, a medical laboratory and more than 1,000 Navy officers. Navy officials said it will serve as a referral hospital for patients not infected with Covid-19, allowing civilian hospitals on shore to focus on treating patients infected with the coronavirus.

“This is like adding another hospital here in New York City,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on NY1 Monday morning. “It’s such a boost to see the military arrive to help us out.”

The Comfort left Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, the Navy said in a statement and is expected to be docked at Pier 90, off West 50th Street in Manhattan, by late morning.

As 9 a.m. approached, the ship was off Coney Island.

It is expected to begin receiving patients 24 hours after arriving in the city.

The Comfort, a converted supertanker, was built by a company that also refurbished New York City subway cars. It was renovated after its last voyage as a tanker in 1984 and turned over to the Navy in 1987.

It was used as a floating base for rescue workers in New York after the 2001 terrorist attack. It was also deployed to the Middle East, and to provide help in storm-ravaged New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Separately, officials have been working for days to transform the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan into a 1,000-bed hospital with field medical stations. Officials with the Army Corps of Engineers have said they plan to have thousands of rooms ready to go also by Monday.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo delivered a grim assessment of the coronavirus pandemic engulfing the state on Sunday, as he reported that 237 people had died in the state since the day before.

“I don’t think there’s any way to look at those numbers,” Mr. Cuomo said, “without seeing thousands of people pass away.”

By Sunday night, the statewide death toll was more than 1,000, according to figures from the city and state, and county-level data compiled by The New York Times.

Mr. Cuomo’s bleak message came as Mayor de Blasio warned that New York City had only about a week’s worth of medical supplies.

“We have enough supplies to get to a week from today, with the exception of ventilators — we’re going to need at least several hundred more ventilators very quickly,” Mr. de Blasio said on CNN.

The mayor said the city was also facing a critical shortage of medical personnel and that he made a direct request to President Trump to send more military and civilian doctors and nurses from around the country.

“Our front line health care workers,” Mr. de Blasio said, “are giving their all, they’re in harm’s way. And, you know, we need to get them relief.

“They can’t keep up at this pace,’’ he added.

The number of confirmed cases in the state jumped by 7,200 in one day, putting the total of confirmed cases at 59,513 cases as of Sunday morning. More than half of the cases, or 33,768, are in New York City, according to the latest figures from the city and state.

About 8,500 people were hospitalized on Sunday, an increase of 16 percent from Saturday to Sunday. Of those, 2,037 are in intensive care units, which are equipped with ventilators.

“People asked ‘when is this over?’ Mr. Cuomo said. “When they come up with an inexpensive home test or point of care test that can be brought to volume.”

Governor Cuomo has seen a surge in his approval rating over the last month, according to a new Siena College poll released Monday morning, fueled by overwhelming support for his handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr. Cuomo is viewed favorably by 71 percent of voters, up from 44 percent in a February survey, according to the poll. Just 23 percent saw him unfavorably, his lowest negative rating since 2012, his second year as governor.

The third-term Democrat stands as the state’s most popular politician, far outpacing Senator Chuck Schumer (viewed favorably by 52 percent of those polled) and President Trump, the Queens native who is seen favorably by only 35 percent of New Yorkers.

The governor’s rise in the polls seems directly related his handling of the city and state’s outbreak; 87 percent of those polled approved of his performance as the virus has spread.

The disease itself had the state’s residents deeply worried, Siena reported, with 92 percent of those polled saying they were either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about coronavirus.

Notably, Mr. Cuomo — who has long denied presidential ambitions — was polling 20 points higher than former vice president Joseph Biden, who was seen favorably by 51 percent, and unfavorably by 40 percent.

The telephone poll was conducted between March 22 and 26 and surveyed 566 New York State registered voters, with a margin of sampling error of 4.5 percentage points.

President Trump continued to suggest that New York was not able to manage its medical supplies, suggesting on Sunday that shortage of masks at New York hospitals might be because of behavior “worse than hoarding.”

Asked if he was suggesting improper conduct with supplies, the president said at a White House appearance: “I want the people in New York to check, Governor Cuomo, Mayor de Blasio, that when a hospital that’s getting 10,000 masks goes to 300,000 masks during the same period, people should check that, because there’s something going on. I don’t think its hoarding, I think its maybe worse than hoarding but check it out. Check it out. I don’t know. I don’t know. I think that’s for other people to figure out.”

Mayor de Blasio said on Monday morning that he didn’t know what the president was talking about, that he did not know where he was getting the information and that there was no truth to the president’s statement, which he called insulting and outrageous.

“It’s incredibly insensitive to people right now who are giving their all, who are suffering,” the mayor said. “Our health care workers are suffering. They’re literally watching some of their own lost to this disease.”

Doctors and nurses in the city have been reporting for weeks that they do not have the masks they need and are sometimes reusing them.

Early in March, before New York placed stringent restrictions on social gatherings, Governor Cuomo said that there had been some theft of masks from hospitals.

Mr. Cuomo said on March 6 that he had asked the state police to investigate, and “to look at places that are selling masks, medical equipment, protective wear, feeding the anxiety.”

Last week, the president accused New York of overstating its need for ventilators, drawing condemnation from Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio.

Here are some of the weekend’s main development’s in the fight against the coronavirus:

  • A 68-bed field hospital is going up inside tents in Central Park: Mayor de Blasio said it would be ready by Tuesday.

  • Virus deaths doubled in New Jersey in three days: There were 161 deaths in the state as of Sunday, up from 81 on Thursday. New Jersey has 13,386 confirmed cases, the second most in the country after New York.

  • Paramedics are overwhelmed and “terrified”: With more 911 calls coming in than at any time since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, overstretched emergency workers find themselves forced to make on-the-spot decisions about who goes to a hospital, and who is left behind — sometimes to die.

  • President Trump dropped the idea of an “enforceable” travel quarantine on the New York region: He floated the idea on Saturday and withdrew it under heavy criticism. Governor Cuomo called the proposal “a declaration of war on states.”

  • Governor Cuomo extended the stay-home order for all nonessential workers: until April 15.

  • Volunteer army: More than 76,000 health care workers, many of them retirees, have volunteered to work in hospitals should the facilities become strained.

  • Good news from Westchester County: The man who was New York’s second confirmed case, bringing attention to a cluster of cases in New Rochelle, has been discharged from the hospital. New Rochelle, the early center of the outbreak in New York appears to be flattening the curve.

  • Keeping their distance in Albany: The State Senate passed a resolution on Sunday to allow lawmakers to vote remotely via telephone or video conference.

  • Staggering losses at restaurants: New York State’s restaurants have lost nearly $2 billion in sales and more than 250,000 workers have lost their jobs, a survey by the National Restaurant Association found.

  • The head of the M.T.A. tested positive: Patrick J. Foye, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, is experiencing only mild symptoms and keeping a full schedule.

As The New York Times follows the spread of the coronavirus across New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, we need your help. We want to talk to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, respiratory therapists, emergency services workers, nursing home managers — anyone who can share what they are seeing in the region’s hospitals and other health care centers. Even if you haven’t seen anything yet, we want to connect now so we can stay in touch in the future.

A reporter or editor may contact you. Your information will not be published without your consent.

Reporting was contributed by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Jesse McKinley, Andy Newman, Aaron Randle, Sam Roberts, Matt Stevens and Katie Van Syckle.

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