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24 Pictures From Inside The Hospital Ships Fighting The Coronavirus Pandemic

The USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy were designed for mass casualty events and are currently docked in Los Angeles and New York City.

Posted on March 30, 2020, at 5:33 p.m. ET

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On Monday, the USNS Comfort docked in New York City to aid in the area's response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Comfort, along with the USNS Mercy, which docked last Friday in Los Angeles, are 70,000-ton hospital ships that were built from converted oil tankers during the Cold War. Each ship has the capacity of 1,000 beds and a medical staff of up to 1,200. In addition to 12 fully equipped operating rooms, both the Comfort and the Mercy also offer radiology and dentistry services, medical and optometry labs, a pharmacy, and two oxygen-producing plants.

Since 1986, the Mercy and the Comfort have offered relief following both domestic and international disasters, including to New York City after 9/11, Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. While docked in New York City, the Comfort will house patients not infected with COVID-19 to help alleviate the pressure on area hospitals hit hardest by the pandemic. As of Monday morning, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced more than 36,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in New York City and more than 1,200 have died.

These pictures capture the scale and readiness of the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy in their humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Bryan R. Smith / Getty Images

The USNS Comfort medical ship moves up the Hudson River as it arrives March 30 in New York City. The military hospital ship arrived as America's coronavirus epicenter prepares to fight the peak of the pandemic that has killed more than 2,500 people across the US.

Mike Blake / Reuters

A Navy sailer looks on as the USNS Mercy departs Naval Station San Diego and heads to the Port of Los Angeles to aid local medical facilities dealing with COVID-19 patients, March 23.

Handout / Getty Images

An MH-60S Seahawk helicopter delivers cargo to the USNS Comfort as the ship is underway in support of humanitarian relief operations in Puerto Rico on Oct. 1, 2017.

Dod / Getty Images

Medical staff in hazmat suits and MCU-2P gas masks carry a patient from a helicopter to one of the decontamination stations aboard the USNS Mercy in a mass casualty exercise during Operation Desert Shield on Feb. 20, 1998.

Ernesto Benavides / Getty Images

A staffer of the USNS Comfort writes on a board as the ship remains anchored off the port of Paita, Peru, on Nov. 5, 2018. More than 5,000 people, including Venezuelan migrants, were treated by personnel of the US hospital ship, in the five-day trip along the northern Peruvian regions of Piura and Tumbes.

US Navy / Reuters

Navy sailors assigned to the USNS Mercy relocate patient beds while off the coast of Southern California on March 24.

Rhona Wise / Getty Images

A general view inside the USNS Comfort docked at the Port of Miami on June 18, 2019, before heading to Central America, South America, and the Caribbean on a five-month hospital medical assistance mission.

Mike Blake / Reuters

Training equipment is loaded onto the USNS Mercy prior to its departure from Naval Base San Diego on a four-month Pacific Partnership humanitarian deployment to the South Pacific on May 15, 2015.

US Navy / Reuters

Sailors prepare to admit a patient aboard the USNS Mercy in Los Angeles on March 29.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

A Navy medical member prepares for surgery on board the USNS Comfort off the coast of Riohacha, Colombia, Nov. 28, 2018.

Handout / Getty Images

Navy Hospital Corpsman Nikki Capozello (left) and Rebekah Perkins practice running an IV line during a medical response team training session aboard the USNS Comfort, as the ship transits the Atlantic Ocean on its way to New York City on March 29.

Kyodo News / Getty Images

Naval staff display a surgical robot on the USNS Mercy on Aug. 7, 2018.

US Navy / Reuters

Dustin Fulton, medical specialist with the Navy, demonstrates proper positioning of a subject during a radiology demonstration aboard the USNS Comfort, as the ship transits the Atlantic Ocean on its way to New York City on March 29.

Mike Blake / Reuters

Decontamination rooms are shown onboard the USNS Mercy prior to its departure from Naval Base San Diego on a four-month Pacific Partnership humanitarian deployment to the South Pacific on May 15, 2015.

US Navy / Reuters

Katelynn Kavanagh, medical specialist with the Navy, sanitizes medical equipment aboard the USNS Mercy off the coast of Southern California on March 24.

US Navy / Reuters

Jeremiah Lewis, medical specialist with the Navy, organizes medical supplies aboard the USNS Mercy off the coast of Southern California on March 24.

Smith Collection / Getty Images

Sailors learn negative pressure wound therapy during a skin and wound care course aboard the USNS Mercy on May 14, 2018.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

Members of the Navy eat in a mess hall on board the USNS Comfort off the coast of Riohacha, Colombia, on Nov. 28, 2018.

Mike Blake / Reuters

Transport gurneys are stacked along a hallway on board the USNS Mercy prior to its departure from Naval Base San Diego on a four-month Pacific Partnership humanitarian deployment to the South Pacific on May 15, 2015.

Ernesto Benavides / Getty Images

A patient is wheeled on a hospital bed aboard the USNS Comfort, anchored off the port of Paita, Peru, on Nov. 5, 2018.

Bloomberg / Getty Images

A Navy Hospital Corpsman aboard the USNS Comfort off the coast of Riohacha, Colombia, on Nov. 28, 2018.

Ernesto Benavides / Getty Images

A little girl is attended aboard the USNS Comfort, anchored off the port of Paita, Peru, on Nov. 5, 2018.

Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images

Surgeons take a quick rest between operations on board the USNS Comfort, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 21, 2010.

Gary Hershorn / Getty Images

People watch as the USNS Comfort arrives in New York City on March 30, 2020.


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