The military-run hospitals at the Javits Center and onboard the USNS Comfort — outfitted to help relieve the massive coronavirus outbreak that has besieged New York City — are mostly empty, reports say.
Both facilities were established after Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio asked for federal support last month to manage the spiraling outbreak, but the effort was hampered by logistical and communication constraints, Politico reported.
There are currently only 60 COVID-19 patients at the Comfort, and 255 at the Javits Center, according to the New York Post.
Javits, the sprawling convention center on the West Side of Manhattan, has a capacity for 2,500; the Comfort, the Navy hospital ship docked in the Hudson River, has a capacity for 500.
Both originally planned to take only non-coronavirus patients to help clear out hospital space for people suffering from the virus, but it failed to address the overcrowded hospital wards with COVID-19 patients.
The Javits Center began accepting patients with coronavirus last Saturday, and President Donald Trump agreed Monday the Comfort would start taking them as well.
Major General William Hall, the commander of Joint Task Force Civil Support, said communication issues between hospitals and the feds were to blame, Politico has reported.
“The communication at that transition was difficult,” he told the news outlet.
On Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence called the patient count on the Comfort so “modest” that 75 military doctors were deployed to emergency rooms instead to help relieve the strain, the Daily Mail reported.