Trump on USNS Comfort: 'If we need it for the virus, we'll use it for that'
Posted April 5, 2020 7:19 p.m. EDT
CNN — President Trump said Sunday night that the USNS Comfort, docked in New York, could be used for coronavirus patients if needed.
"That was not supposed to be for the virus at all and under circumstances. It looks like more and more we'll be using it for that," Trump told reporters at a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House. "The ship is ready and if we need it for the virus, we'll use it for that."
The USNS Comfort had originally been designated as a space for non-coronavirus patients to alleviate the pressure from New York hospitals.
The US coronavirus death toll is now more than triple that of the 9/11 attacks, with almost half of the known pandemic-related deaths in New York.
There are at least 331,151 cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University's latest tally of cases. At least 9,441 people have died in the nation from the virus.
Earlier Sunday, the US surgeon general said this week is going to be the "hardest and the saddest" for "most Americans' lives," describing the upcoming period of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as a "Pearl Harbor moment" and a "9/11 moment."
"This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it's not going to be localized, it's going to be happening all over the country and I want America to understand that," Vice Admiral Jerome Adams said on "Fox News Sunday."