Evangelical Christian group builds makeshift coronavirus hospital in Central Park

Effort is by Samaritan's Purse, headed by Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham

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Volunteers set up emergency hospital beds in Central Park
Volunteers set up emergency hospital beds in Central Park
(Kena Betancur / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
March 30, 2020 - 10:09am

Samaritan's Purse, an evangelical Christian organization headed by Franklin Graham, son of late televangelist Billy Graham, is setting up a 68-bed field hospital in New York City's Central Park to help with coronavirus treatments. 

Dr. Elliott Tenpenny will be leading a group of 70 health care workers from around the nation. His past experience includes treating Ebola patients in West Africa and tending to Syrian refugees in Iraq. 

The facility, when complete, will include14 tents in the park's East Meadow. Volunteers began setting up tents in the rain on Sunday morning. The setup also will include 10 ventilators. The field hospital will be treating patients transferred from the Mount Sinai hospital network. 

New York now has 776 virus-related deaths and is projected to reach 1,000 by week's end.

The makeshift hospital is expected to be operational by Tuesday morning.