“It’s like a beacon of hope”: USNS Comfort arrives in New York Harbor

The hospital ship Comfort sails under the Verrazzano Bridge Monday morning.
Photo by Bruce Cotler

Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, arrived at New York Harbor on Monday from Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia and will begin treating patients on board by Tuesday, March 31. 

“I had this incredible feeling of peace that help was finally coming,”said Mayor Bill de Blasio during a press conference at Pier 90 on Monday. Shortly before the media briefing he stood on a nearby rooftop and watched the “moving” image of the military ship pass by the Statue of Liberty on its way to Pier 88. “It was like a beacon of hope,” he added.

The hospital ship will act as a “relief valve” for other New York City hospitals and treat non-coronavirus patients, said Rear Admiral John Mustin. The ship is equipped with 750 beds, operating rooms and a pharmacy. A similar military ship, the USNS Mercy, docked in Los Angeles on Friday. 

The last time a ship hospital docked in New York City was during the aftermath of the 9-11 terrorists attacks to provide relief to first responders.

This story first appeared on amny.com.