Trump administration battered by doctor for creating bureaucratic nightmare to get patients on USNS Comfort

Appearing on CNN on Friday morning, two doctors harshly criticized Donald Trump's administration for sending the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort to New York City with so many restrictions regarding the coronavirus epidemic that it is hardly being used.


Speaking with "New Day" hosts John Berman, who called the inability to fully utilize the ship as a "bureaucratic mess," one doctor said the ship is basically worthless because no COVID-19 patients will be allowed on -- but no one can be sent to the ship until they have been tested and there are few test kits available.

With host Berman pointing out only 20 patients are currently residing on the 1,000=bed Comfort, Dr. James Phillips of George Washington University Hospital admitted it was frustrating.

"I understand your frustration," the doctor stated. "The Comfort was brought in as part of the surge capacity improvement by off-loading patients that are taking beds in hospitals for other reasons onto the ship. They can free up the hospital beds for COVID patients."

"The issue is they don't want to take COVID patients on to the ship, that's understandable if it's not going to be a pure COVID hospital," he continued. "We know the virus is transmitted easily on ships and tight cramped spaces. You can look at the cruise ships around the world, look at the USS Theodore Roosevelt, we've seen examples of how it spreads. In order for patients to get on the Comfort, they have to test negative. That means trauma patients, perhaps heart attacks, myocardial infarctions. patients have to wait several days before they can be proven safe to go on the Comfort. The average stay in a hospital is 4.5 days -- most people might be done with their hospital stay before they can get on the Comfort."

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