Military deploying 1,100 more doctors, nurses to New York to staff the Javits Center

U.S. military will be running country's largest hospital, the Javits Convention Center, transformed into a coronavirus overflow facility; Additional personnel will be dispatched to 11 NYC hospitals as well

Javits Convention Center, New York City
(John Lamparski/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Last Updated:
April 6, 2020 - 8:43am

Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday signaled that the military would be sending 1,100 additional doctors and nurses to New York City to provide their services on the frontline of the continued fight against coronavirus.

Most of the additional personnel will report to the Javits Convention Center on the West Side of Manhattan, which could be ready to begin accepting patients as soon as this week. A few hundred of the nurses and doctors will report to 11 local New York City hospitals that are now overwhelmed with coronavirus cases.

“Our hope is to be able to decrease the pressure on some of our medical providers,” Col. Kimberlee Aiello on Fox News on Monday morning.

In the past days, the Javits Center has been converted by the Army Corps of Engineers into a makeshift hospital with 3,000 beds and 48 intensive care units.

Initially, the center was being prepped to accept non-coronavirus patients, overflowing from local hospitals, similar to the efforts of the Navy medical ship USNS Comfort, now docked off of Manhattan’s West Side.

However, the decision was made to prepare the center for coronavirus positive patients who have made it past the most serious stages of the illness and are no longer in need of ventilators.

The hospital will be equipped with ventilators, should a patient need to go back on one.

“The United States military will soon be running the largest hospital in the United States,” Esper said He called the military’s efforts in New York a demonstration of how “all in,” they are in the fight agains the novel coronavirus.

The Army has already deployed about 600 personnel to New York City from medical units in Kentucky and Texas. The additional 1,100 personnel will primarily come from Navy and Air Force medical units.