Los Angeles and New York City are getting additional help in battling the coronavirus crisis.
On Friday morning, the United States Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy arrived in Los Angeles to assist with relief efforts.
Its sister ship, the USNS Comfort, is expected to leave Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday to head to New York City. President Donald Trump said he plans to see the ship off. “I’m going to go out and I’ll kiss it goodbye,” he said at a White House press conference.
The Comfort should be seeing New York-area patients by early April, according to NBC.
New York is the epicenter of the virus, with nearly half of all confirmed cases in the country and about a third of the deaths, according to available data on Friday. The virus, which causes the respiratory disease COVID-19, has killed more than 1,000 people in the U.S., which overtook China this week as the epicenter of the outbreak worldwide.
According to CNN, the ships will not be used for coronavirus-related patients, but will instead treat trauma patients relocated from local hospitals that are inundated with coronavirus needs.
Each ship has 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, a 1,000 bed hospital facility, digital radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, an optometry lab, a CAT-scan and two oxygen producing plants, according to the Navy.
There are now at least 85,381 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States, the most worldwide. At least 1,271 people in the U.S. have died from coronavirus-related illness, according to the New York Times.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.
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