Trump dispatching Navy hospital ship to New York Harbor

“They are in tip-top shape,” Trump said.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday that the Pentagon is preparing the ships, which are equipped with 1,000 hospital beds each, for potential deployments to hot spots to relieve civilian hospitals dealing with the virus.

Defense officials noted that the hospital ships aren’t conducive to containing infectious disease outbreaks but can be used to treat noncoronavirus patients while existing medical facilities focus on disease treatment.

“Our capabilities are focused on trauma. … They don’t have necessarily the segregated spaces that you need to deal with infectious diseases,” Esper said, adding that deploying the hospital ships could “take the pressure off of civilian hospitals when it comes to trauma cases to open up civilian hospital rooms for infectious diseases.”