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USNS Comfort has 1,000 hospital beds to help with New York’s crisis — but only 3 patients: report

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Presdient Donald Trump announced to much fanfare that he was deploying two U.S. Navy hospital ships to help New York deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. But the two ships are only serving 18 patients in total.

“Such were the expectations for the Navy hospital ship U.S.N.S. Comfort that when it chugged into New York Harbor this week, throngs of people, momentarily forgetting the strictures of social distancing, crammed together along Manhattan’s west side to catch a glimpse,” the New York Times reported Thursday.

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“On Thursday, though, the huge white vessel, which officials had promised would bring succor to a city on the brink, sat mostly empty, infuriating local hospital executives,” the newspaper explained. “The ship’s 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle.”

“Only three patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus,” The Times reported. “Another Navy hospital ship, the U.S.N.S. Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.”

The newspaper interviewed Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York’s largest hospital system.

“If I’m blunt about it, it’s a joke,” he explained. “Everyone can say, ‘Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.’ But we’re in a crisis here, we’re in a battlefield.”

The Navy has banned the Comfort from treating coronavirus victims.

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“On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship,” The Times reported. “Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.”


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Right-wing militia spokeswoman defends lynching of Kentucky governor in effigy: Protesting ‘is not the answer any longer’

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A group of right-wing protesters held a demonstration in front of the house of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear's mansion this Sunday, at one point hanging an effigy of the governor on a tree in what looked to be a mock lynching. According to CNN, the protest was advertised on Facebook as a Patriot Day Rally to exercise Second Amendment rights.

The backlash against the group's actions was swift, with even Mitch McConnell slamming the move as "unacceptable."

"There is no place for hate in Kentucky," he tweeted.

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Soledad O’Brien scolds Tomi Lahren on Twitter after she calls people ‘sheep’ for Memorial Day

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Journalist Soledad O'Brien fired back at Fox News personality Tomi Lahren after she called Americans "sheep" for following pandemic safety rules on Memorial Day.

"I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us," Lahren wrote in a tweet over the Memorial Day weekend.

I gotta hand it to COVID-19, you sure did expose the sheep among us.

— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) May 24, 2020

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2020 Election

Trump’s policies could come back to haunt him as he struggles to save his presidency from COVID-19: columnist

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In a column for Washington Monthly, Annie Kim suggested that Donald Trump will likely be handcuffed by his own economic policies as he attempts to deal with the collapse of the U.S. economy in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic that raged out of control on his watch.

With close to 40 million Americans now unemployed and the president's administration pumping trillions into the economy to keep the country afloat as businesses shutter, Kim suggested that Trump is in a major bind of his own making that could cost him re-election.

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