President Joe Biden will announce the deployment of six military medical teams today to deal with severe staff shortages at hospitals around the country — with one team heading to New York to assist at Brooklyn’s Coney Island Hospital, a source close to United States Sen. Chuck Schumer told Brooklyn Paper.
The president is dispatching federal personnel to assist six hospitals in six different states to work alongside healthcare workers on the frontline combatting the Omicron surge by helping take the strain off overwhelmed emergency departments, which will free up healthcare providers to continue providing care elsewhere.
“Our facilities, nurses, and providers remain on the front lines of this pandemic, but like so many other New Yorkers, health care professionals have been stricken by the Omicron variant. We thank the Biden Administration, FEMA, HHS, and our city and state partners for their ongoing support and for sending needed medical teams,” said a spokesperson for the New York City H+H system.
“Through this fourth wave we have activated many proven strategies that served us well during the first surge to help support our staff, especially our nurses. We have added hundreds of nurses and are adding hundreds more in the days ahead, we are transferring patients across our hospitals to balance the demand, and we are doing all we can to support the physical and emotional wellness of our front-line teams so we can continue to deliver on our mission to care for all New Yorkers, no matter what,” the spokesperson continued.
On top of helping at Coney Island Hopsital, the New York-based team will also assist at North Central Bronx Hospital in the Bronx, according to the H+H rep.
The five other military medical teams in today’s announcement will be sent to hospitals in Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan, New Mexico, and New Jersey.
Biden has been deploying medical teams since last year to assist hospitals overrun with coronavirus patients — most recently sending feds to Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Vermont in December.
The first-term president said in December he directed Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to ready 1,000 military nurses, doctors and paramedics for deployment to US hospitals through January and February.
The president’s announcement comes after COVID cases in New York City began to spike in early December and eventually hit a record for highest number of new infections on Jan. 8 — with over 90,000 new infections — since the pandemic took hold of a city, even topping April and May 2020 numbers.