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US Pentagon to deploy field hospitals to New York, Seattle

23:06  23 march  2020
23:06  23 march  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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The U.S. military is preparing to deploy field hospitals to New York and Seattle , Defense “Right now I anticipate sending a ( field ) hospital to Seattle and a hospital to New York City,” Esper told a news conference, adding Esper, who also announced more security restrictions at the Pentagon

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The Defense Department is preparing to deploy field hospitals to New York City and Seattle later this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Monday.

"Right now, I anticipate sending a [field] hospital to Seattle and a hospital to New York City," Esper told reporters at the Pentagon, adding, "my aim is to get them out this week."

He said five such expeditionary units had been given "prepare to deploy orders," and the Pentagon is looking to send them to other locations as needed.

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NEW YORK , NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: A worker sits in an empty gift shop in New York 's One million mask are being sent to New York City hospitals Saturday, and 500,000 to Long Island, he said. Officials are requesting four military field hospitals with 250 beds each, Cuomo said.

The Pentagon has begun work to convert hotels, college dormitories, convention centres, and sports stadiums, into emergency hospitals to cope with a flood of coronavirus patients. Military plans already underway include establishing more than 10,000 extra bed spaces at a dozen buildings in New York .

He said the deployments will include the hospital, equipment and medical professionals. They will be sent once the Federal Emergency Management Agency validates the move.

Washington state has the most confirmed cases of coronavirus on the West Coast while New York has the most such cases on the East Coast.

The Pentagon's other efforts to help with the outbreak include deploying a Navy hospital ship in San Diego to Los Angeles to help relieve medical facilities expected to become overburdened by coronavirus patients.

The USNS Mercy will treat non-coronavirus patients referred to the ship by hospitals on shore, and it is expected to arrive at the port of Los Angeles "within the week," Capt. John Rotruck, commanding officer of the ship, told reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference later on Monday.

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New bollard-style border fencing in Santa Teresa, N.M. The Pentagon is diverting .6 billion to shore up the president’s border wall.Credit Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters.

The Pentagon chief wants to prioritize the deployment of U.S. forces to the Asia-Pacific region from other areas, including Afghanistan, to confront a growing military competition with China.

The USNS Comfort will deploy to New York City to carry out a similar mission but is not expected to leave its port in Virginia until next week.

Esper also announced Monday that the Pentagon's health protection level had been upgraded to its second highest setting, putting more restrictions on entering the building.

As of Monday morning, 133 service members had tested positive for the coronavirus, as had 44 civilian employees, 35 dependents and 31 contractors, with one contractor death Saturday.

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Esper said he has not been tested for the coronavirus but was monitoring his health.

He also for the first time acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic may affect military readiness down the line.

"If this pandemic continues at the scale and scope of what some are predicting, over time you could start seeing an impact on readiness. ... But nothing to which I fear impacts our mission readiness to conduct our national missions," he said.

Pentagon to deploy field hospitals to New York, Seattle © Greg Nash Pentagon to deploy field hospitals to New York, Seattle

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Researchers in the US and China reported Monday they have developed an artificial intelligence tool that is able to accurately predict which newly infected patients with the novel coronavirus go on to develop severe lung disease. The team applied a machine learning algorithm to data from 53 coronavirus patients across two hospitals in Wenzhou, China, finding that changes in three features -- levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT), reported body aches, and hemoglobin levels –- were most accurately predictive of subsequent, severe disease.

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