WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) — President Donald Trump said he will travel to Norfolk, Virginia this weekend to see off a Navy hospital ship before it sets sail for New York City, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the nation.
The USNS Comfort will leave for New York on Saturday and arrive in New York Harbor on Monday. It will be docked at Pier 90.
The ship was originally scheduled to arrive sometime in April after undergoing maintenance.
Trump said it is being "loaded up to the top" with medical supplies and he will head to the Norfolk Naval Station to "kiss it goodbye."
The ship has 1,000 rooms and will help relieve some of the pressure on the city's hospitals, where thousands of COVID-19 patients are being treated.
The rooms will be used for people who do not have COVID-19, freeing up capacity in other hospitals for those who do.
Earlier this week, a similar ship, the USNS Mercy, set sail for Los Angeles.
The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York surged past 3,800 this week with nearly 900 in intensive care as Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned the peak of the outbreak is still weeks away.
The state and city have implemented strict social distancing rules and the big question remains whether this will help stem the spread of the virus and ease the stress on hospitals and health care facilities.