L.A. County Supervisor Requests Return of USNS Mercy to Help with Coronavirus

The hospital ship USNS Mercy departs Naval Base San Diego in support of Pacific Partnership 2018, Feb. 23, 2018. Pacific Partnership, now in its 13th iteration, is the largest annual multinational humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Indo-Pacific. Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey …
Petty Officer 2nd Class Kelsey L. Adams/U.S. Navy

L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn has written to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to ask that he request the return of the hospital ship U.S.N.S. Mercy to provide additional hospital bed capacity as the area struggles with an ongoing coronavirus surge.

The Daily Breeze reported:

In a letter to Newsom on Wednesday, Dec. 30, Supervisor Janice Hahn sought the return of the Mercy and its accompanying medical staff to the Port of Los Angeles.

The goal would be to bolster staffing and space, which are spread thin in the county as the number of new cases each day has climbed over 13,000 and as ICU space dwindles.

“Emergency departments throughout LA County are overwhelmed and cannot take in all patients in need of urgent care,” Hahn wrote. “The USNS Mercy can add more emergency care capacity for patients not suffering from COVID-19 related health complications. This will in turn alleviate the burden on hospitals, so they can focus on severely ill COVID-19 patients.”

Local ABC affiliate KABC-7 added:

Hahn declared her support for the Southern California Public Service Workers union’s request for additional healthcare workers to be sent to all hospitals in the county to help them handle the surge.

“Our SEIU healthcare workers are exhausted and our hospitals are overwhelmed. They need backup,” Hahn said in the letter sent Tuesday. “This surge is the crisis that we dreaded all along. We need as much support as we can get for our healthcare workers, and we need the U.S.N.S. Mercy back in the Port of Los Angeles.”

The Mercy arrived in L.A. from San Diego in the spring, and provided extra capacity for hospitals that were expected to be overwhelmed by coronavirus cases. The massive hospital ship left in May, however, after treating only 77 patients in L.A.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His newest e-book is Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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