US Army Deploys Field Hospitals to Help Battle COVID-19

Updated: 2020-03-25 12:45:03

The U.S. Army announced that three of its expeditionary hospital facilities have received deployment orders and will be heading to New York and Washington state to assist with COVID-19 response efforts.

The U.S. Army Public Affairs division said in a statement on March 24 that the 531st Hospital from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the 627th Hospital from Fort Carson, Colorado, and the 9th Hospital from Fort Hood, Texas, would deploy.

“As more people are exposed to COVID-19, the U.S. Army is preparing to provide medical support and hospital capacity to help states and other national agencies to contain the virus and protect the nation,” the statement said.

The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mishandling allowed the virus to spread throughout China and spark a global pandemic.

“Army health care professionals are adequately equipped with first-rate training, equipment, and technology in order to deal with emergent health issues,” said Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, who issued the deployment orders.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Army National Guard members unload boxes at the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he is converting the center into a field hospital, in New York on March 23, 2020. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

Army hospitals are expeditionary facilities with full hospital capability, including intensive-care-unit beds, operating rooms, an emergency department, X-ray facilities, and a pharmacy.

“Army hospital staffs can provide routine and emergency medical support to community medical staffs, allowing them to focus their resources and efforts on detecting and treating patients believed to have been exposed to COVID-19,” the Army said in the statement.

Epoch Times Photo
U.S. Army National Guard members walk through the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side in New York City on March 23, 2020. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

Separately, the Army Corp. is looking into old hospitals to determine which ones can be reactivated, according to Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz.

Moskowitz made the comments on March 25 during a daily COVID-19 briefing in Orlando, at which Gov. Ron DeSantis said he signed an executive order compelling anyone who has been in New York City in the past three weeks to self-isolate.

“It is just reckless, reckless behavior,” DeSantis said of people fleeing the outbreak in New York by heading to Florida, Local 10 News reported.

Epoch Times Photo
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at Bayview Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 7, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state’s infections are doubling every three days, threatening to swamp the city’s intensive care units. The state has 26,000 infections and more than 200 deaths.

“One of the forecasters said to me, ‘We were looking at a freight train coming across the country,'” Cuomo said. “We’re now looking at a bullet train.”

Army Trainees Test Positive for COVID-19

Meanwhile, the Army Times reported that two trainees tested positive for COVID-19 at the Fort Jackson, South Carolina, training facility after the military introduced new screening procedures.

A soldier-in-training and a student in the basic officer leaders course became the first individuals there to test positive for the virus, according to post commander Brig. Gen. Milford Beagle Jr.

Beagle Jr. said a contact tracing team would seek to identify who the two trainees may have come into contact with and test those individuals.

“Everybody will not receive a test, but those who have been in prolonged contact and in close proximity with a patient under investigation who has been tested, will be tested,” Beagle said. “For the rest, we’ll take other isolation and quarantine protocols based on that individual’s symptoms and signs that they show over time.”

Army Chief of Staff James McConville said last week that the number of new recruits has dropped by around half during the pandemic.

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