NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The U.S. Navy's hospital ship the USNS Comfort has arrived New York City to help in the war against the coronavirus pandemic. Are you seeing any -- any -- any harm from that? Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort, hold a news conference at the Pentagon via telephone to provide updates on their respective military hospital ships’ support for the COVID-19 response efforts in Los Angeles and New York City. During many of his tours, he's led medical divisions. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. Dr. Brett Seidle has been selected as the executive director of Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA's) Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers. In reference to the second part of your question, I think -- I -- hopefully understanding the intent of DOD's senior leadership that they really wanted to get the capability and capacity in place early before the hospitals in the local areas were already overwhelmed, so that we could establish the relationships and ensure the processes were sound to get patients to the ship, so that when they -- the capacity demand really increases, we'll be ready. Can you say what is, kind of, the -- the process? ROTRUCK: So Captain Rotruck here, speaking for the Mercy before Captain Amersbach answers on his coast. The USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy also have medical labs, CAT scans, oxygen-producing plants and a hanger deck able to land the largest military helicopters, Navy officials said. They're working in conjunction with FEMA to ensure that the hospital-to-hospital transfers are occurring as smoothly as possible, and again, to make sure that those patients that are coming aboard the ship are suitable for our environment, as well as right now, COVID-19-free. After they came aboard, we've been doing all the individual measures that you're familiar with – hand washings, frequent use of hand sanitizers placed widely throughout the ship, the other CDC recommendations that you don't touch your face, that you exercise social distancing to the maximum extent possible and that you do frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces. Essentially, it's a floating military health care facility. The criteria for acceptance has been shared, both through FEMA and local authorities. STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. In addition, for our new staff coming aboard the ship since we left San Diego, they are in a period of what we call restriction of movement for 14 days, so they're coming up here to Los Angeles, to the local areas, actually, essentially being in self-quarantine or self-isolation, if you will, to ensure that it's -- had -- had they been exposed to somebody with COVID and they didn't know it, that would be time for the disease to declare itself. Captain John Rotruck followed by the MTF Comfort C.O. Q: Hi, thank you for doing this. CAPT. CAPT. The need for treating those with coronavirus was greater. “We follow the same CDC guidelines, in addition to that of DOD to protect the crew,” he said. And then we have a very robust logistics system in which to get resupply while we are pierside. So, we've got a total of 15 patients transferred so far. ROTRUCK: I -- I do mean they are all getting COVID tested at the local hospitals and where they're coming and that test result is coming -- coming back negative, of course, before we approve a request for transfer. Comfort houses one of the largest trauma facilities in the U. Do you want to continue? Gen. Manuel Ortiz Jr. the commander and deputy commander of U.S. Army South during his recent visit. He began his career as a Surface Warfare officer serving aboard USS COWPENS (CG-63) in San Diego and USS MOBILE BAY (CG-53) in Yokosuka, Japan. ‘Cause from here, it just seems like more of a political symbol by the governors, given that the capacity is not being used, even a fraction of it, on board the ships? David Murrin, USNS Comfort Ship’s Master Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 10:00 am (Washington, DC time) I -- I'll go first on that. The Comfort was sent to relieve some of that stress. Comfort is on a four-month humanitarian deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean region to provide medical treatment to approximately 85,000 patients in a dozen countries. Like civilian hospitals, the Comfort runs an around-the-clock operation with specialized medical staff. USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is a Mercy-class hospital ship of the United States Navy.. USNS Comfort Public Affairs Office MSC PAO 01-61 For more information, contact: Marge Holtz or Bridget Morris 202-685-5055 or 202-494-6524 September 28, 2001. 03/30/2020 12:36 PM EDT. — USNS Comfort Capt. B.J. To this point, late yesterday afternoon, we started taking on our first patients. So as the Mercy had mentioned, we are following the orders from the Department of Defense as they work with other federal agencies. So whether or not it is an issue, I'm not sure. For the folks on the phone, good morning. Amersback's roots in the DMV are deep. RELATED: Navy hospital ship in New York with 1,000 beds has 20 patients. Are you suffering from any disinformation campaign about what you are doing? Thanks for joining us today. John R. Rotruck relieved Capt. What is the process to be ensure? We're tracking. Making an impact is the whole purpose of this mission – the hospitals in New York were simply overrun and overwhelmed by the pandemic. By ERIN DURKIN. NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The U.S. Navy's hospital ship the USNS Comfort has arrived New York City to help in the war against the coronavirus pandemic. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility and Capt. It treated 182 patients, the … Q: Can I just follow up -- it's Jennifer Griffin -- on Courtney's question. ROTRUCK: So I think I can answer that for the Mercy. With respect to misinformation, I'm not personally aware of any misinformation campaign with respect to the mission that we're doing here. And can you say how disinformation and rumor is affecting your safety? # HomelandDefense # InThisTogether # COVID19 U.S. Navy U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) That would entirely be an issue of coordination with our local authorities here in L.A. As I mentioned before, we have people from the Mercy embedded within the Medical Alert Center, which is the coordination agency for all inter-hospital transfers. Captain Patrick Amersbach. CAPT. STAFF: Okay, we'll be -- we'll begin questions and answers. And for the press, thank you as well. We will continue to coordinate requests for patient care directly with community representatives. ROTRUCK: So Captain Rotruck here, speaking on the Mercy side with respect to your question. March 31, 2015. Patrick Amersbach, the commanding officer of the treatment facility aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort, told "Bill Hemmer Reports" Monday that he should be ready to receive patients Tuesday. If anything changes --. And I think the take-home message there is that we are able to actually bring patients aboard and also discharge them effectively to generate that patient throughput so that they can continue to effectively act as a relief valve to local hospitals. 3:00 p.m. Media will have the opportunity to conduct interviews on the pier with Capt. The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has been docked in New York City for more than two weeks. “The team really came together during this deployment and used all of our skills while working with our partners to the south. So, the issue for us in relocating would just be providing a safe disposition for all the patients that are currently on board the ship. Captain Rotruck from the Mercy. Were they all tested or put into isolation for 14 days in advance? We go through the -- the Javits Center and all coordination for care beyond what would be provided from the ship would be coordinated through them. A lot of people know that the mechanism for receiving here on the Mercy comes from being a patient in a local hospital first. But if I were to conjecture how we would accomplish that mission, essentially, we would transition from a non-COVID-19 patient treatment facility to a COVID-19-only patient treatment facility. Q: Okay, so your first patients, you started taking on yesterday afternoon. Thank you. And the other question is just about billing. Warrior Maven & Capt. It happened well outside of our fence line. If that changes in the future then we will adjust accordingly but right now, that is how we are operating. Navy Capt. With respect to people just showing up for care, we've had a few phone calls here on the ship of people that believe they could access here directly, as opposed to being patients in a hospital and being transferred. Some patients are on a mobile ventilator,” Capt. I'm Captain Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the military treatment facility aboard the USNS Comfort. ROTRUCK: So, Captain Rotruck here. The USNS Comfort had a similar mission in deploying to New York City. Patrick Amersbach is a graduate of Bowie High School. We've seen the situation on the Roosevelt and how difficult it is on ships and in that kind of environment. “Teamwork really has made a difference, something that I think I carried on from my time in Bowie into the military.”. AMERSBACH: Yeah, this is Captain Amersbach on the Comfort. CAPT. — USNS Comfort Capt. Can -- Captain, can you talk about -- can you both talk about the nature of the injuries that you've been treating, how serious are they, what are the range of injuries? Warrior: I understand the USNS Comfort is receiving additional health care experts to help COVID 19 patients recover. We heard from the Mercy captain about how patients are referred and kind of what that process is like. Commanding officer Capt. The process continues, but again, it is settling out and we are honestly looking forward to seeing a significant increase in patients being transferred to the Comfort today. So they -- they would manage that at that level. Today's briefing is going to be on the record and it'll be with the Medical Treatment Facility Mercy and Medical Treatment Facility Comfort commanding officers. Also being recognized is … The Bowie native has spent almost 30 years in the Navy. He has a message for those supporting him back here at home. “Our team did a great job working with partners from 11 different countries and non-governmental organizations,” said Capt. Capt. CAPT. How would you accommodate COVID-19 patients? Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility. AMERSBACH: Yes, I apologize, our call got dropped on our end. Some patients are on a mobile ventilator,” Capt. USNS Comfort hosts New … WCBS 880's Steve Scott spoke with Capt. There is no billing of patients for care delivered on the hospital ships. ROTRUCK: So Captain Rotruck here. Program Executive Office (PEO) Aircraft Carriers announced the certification of a fifth Advanced Weapons Elevator (AWE) aboard USS Gerald R. 75,000+ in DC could see unemployment benefits expire on Saturday, Prince William Co. sheriff's deputy fired over 'disturbing comments' on social media, A frigid night, followed by a warmer Sunday, Frederick Keys lose Orioles affiliation, chart new course for baseball, Frederick Keys find a new way to play ball, Navy hospital ship in New York with 1,000 beds has 20 patients, U.S. Navy hospital ship heading to NYC for coronavirus aid, Military sees no quick exit from 'new world' of coronavirus, Army command continues work on COVID-19 vaccine, treatment | Hospital near Fort Detrick to setup drive-through testing site. For the folks on the phone, good morning. NHA TRANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- Capt. CAPT. The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort passes lower Manhattan on its way to docking in New York, Monday, March 30, 2020. He provided WUSA9 with a picture, almost 40 years old, of his graduation photo from the Bowie High School Class of 1982. ROTRUCK: Hi. I have a follow-up. Can you tell us exactly when the -- the Comfort started accepting patients? ROTRUCK: No, I -- I do mean they're getting a COVID test and a result prior to being transferred. I don't -- could you physically do that and keep everyone safe? Capt. Kevin Robinson, commander of Military Sealift Command Atlantic and Task Force 83, and Kevin Buckley, commanding officer of the military treatment facility aboard the hospital ship USNS Comfort, brief reporters in Norfolk, Va., before the Comfort departs for Puerto Rico to join humanitarian aid efforts, Sept. 29, 2017. I mean, it's a ship. AMERSBACH: This is Captain Amersbach --. So pretty much the gamut of patients that you'd expect to see in a community hospital. If we were not able to discharge patients effectively, we would essentially fill up and then -- and then no longer be of any use to the local hospitals. Patrick Amersbach, Commanding Officer of the USNS Comfort, told Warrior in an interview. But I think that's a good news story for us. So in other words, we would probably have to transfer the non-COVID-infected patients off the ship and become 100 percent COVID operation. And then finally, we have a lot of measures in place to make sure that we remain a COVID-free ship. “I've got to say thank you,” he said. The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a … That is an interesting question, and I think it's something we would have to give some thought to. Captain Lanny Boswell is currently serving as the Commanding Officer of the United States Naval Hospital ship, USNS COMFORT. STAFF: I'm sorry, so was that a question for the Mercy or for the Comfort? 3:00 p.m. Media will have the opportunity to conduct interviews on the pier with Capt. We have 10 patients currently on the ship. Each has the capacity to fill 1,000 beds. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer for the USNS Comfort, gestures as he speaks to the media as Capt. Patrick Amersbach was born and raised in the DMV, and now he's playing a major role in the response to COVID … Please, when asking questions, identify yourself and your outlet for the record, as they are on the phone, as well, and cannot see you. STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. Do you have instant testing and are these patients going through that before they are on board the ships? The USNS hospital ship Comfort is seen docked at Pier 90 on Manhattan's West Side during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in New York City, New York, U.S., April 3, 2020. I see faces and names that I haven't seen in a long, long time, so I’m ecstatic for that. I am humbled and honored to lead a team of true professionals committed to helping our fellow Americans during this great time of need. Continuing Promise is a five-month humanitarian assistance mission to the Caribbean, Central and South America. CAPT. And, you know, we're here in support of FEMA and the state of California, so we're -- we're ready to answer whatever that demand signal is. BOWIE, Md. Commanding Officers of Medical Treatment Facility USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy Hold a Press Briefing via Teleconference April 2, 2020 Captain John R. Rotruck, Commanding Officer, … STAFF: All right, gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. The combination of medicine and military is right in Amersbach's wheelhouse. And finally, how do you know all the staff on board both ships, since you had to deploy so quickly, how do you know that they are all COVID-free? Just a quick follow-up for my colleague, Jeff Schogol. Choose which Defense.gov products you want delivered to your inbox. Catherine Spanbauer Analyst at United States Department of … CAPT. Jim Ware, commanding officer of the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), speaks to embarked news media about the ship's mission to provide humanitarian assistance to Haiti after the Caribbean nation was struck by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010. And then of course, all of our -- all of our patients are screened and tested for COVID prior to coming on the ship. — USNS Comfort Capt. Flickr - The U.S. Army - Continuing Promise 2009 Humanitarian Mission - … So that's just in the past four days, which means that we've discharged five patients, as well. Q: That was a question for the Comfort specifically. It treated 182 patients, the last discharged on April 26. Question for the Mercy skipper, are you taking any extra security as a result of this action? AMERSBACH: Okay. English: ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 16, 2010) Capt. AMERSBACH: Yes, ma'am, that is correct. So we -- again, we're working with local officials and FEMA, we have everything laying flat as far as communication and our ability to move patients from local hospitals to the ship. Seidle will succeed Donald McCormack, who retires April 30. Video Report: Army Research Lab Scientist Tell Warrior About AI-Enabled Robot Tanks*****. Captain Patrick K. Amersbach, commanding officer of the Comfort, told WCBS 880 that they are planning on accepting patients within 24 hours of arriving in New York City. Gen. Manuel Ortiz Jr. the commander and deputy commander of U.S. Army South during his recent visit. It treated 182 patients, the … He's the hospital ship’s commanding officer. I could not be more proud of the sailors aboard Mercy and how they came together as a team so quickly. Q: It's Jennifer Griffin from Fox News. So with respect to the train incident, there was really no impact to the Mercy whatsoever, if you'll forgive the use of that word. And right now, the -- those rules still apply that we are accepting only COVID-19 patients. CAPT. Q: I don't, though; I'm on -- I'm on mute. The USNS Comfort arrived in … US Navy 070617-N-8704K-136 Brian Ely, of WPLG Channel 10 Miami, interviews Capt. We wanted to know how he is making sure his crew can accomplish their health care mission and also stay safe from the virus. I don't think that is potentially a delay at this point. By ERIN DURKIN. “They also understand the gravity of why we are here and this mission and the importance of it.”. The professionals aboard USNS Mercy left Naval Base San Diego March 23rd after receiving a five-day notice of this deployment. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. CAPT. Capt. USNS Comfort Public Affairs Office MSC PAO 01-61 For more information, contact: Marge Holtz or Bridget Morris 202-685-5055 or 202-494-6524 September 28, 2001. Is that because you're just not receiving the referrals from the hospitals? Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. A military officer next to the USNS Comfort Navy hospital ship located at Pier 90 to care for patients not related to Covic-19 on March 31, 2020 in New York City. Navy hospital ship arrives in New York ReutersCrowds ignore social distancing rules to watch USNS Comfort New York Post 1,200 Dead in N.Y. and Cuomo… Comfort ' s duties include providing emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or other operations. CAPT. Your commute. Captain John R. Rotruck, Commanding Officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Mercy; Captain Patrick Amersbach, Commanding Officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Comfort, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. We haven't had any requests at this point as far as us sharing resources or equipment. STAFF: Captain Amersbach, are you still on the line, sir? And secondly, with the -- for the Mercy captain, we've seen recently that both California and Washington State seem to be -- being successful in flattening the curve. How would you adjust to bring COVID-19 patients onto either Mercy or Comfort? Patrick Amersbach was born and raised in the DMV, and now he's playing a major role in the response to COVID-19. And once we accomplish that, we could leave in fairly short order in order to do so. We moved approximately 500 of our crew into a hotel to allow further social distancing to decompress the berthing areas, the areas which they live on the ship, the areas in which they eat on the ship.”. USNS Comfort commanding officer on arrival in NYC: 'Excited to be here and excited to get started' Capt. Shannon cited a loss of confidence in Haltner’s ability to command as the reason for her relief pending … CAPTAIN PATRICK AMERSBACH: Good morning. Capt. They include neurologists, pulmonologists and critical care and internal medicine specialists. Authorities. Download this stock image: Capt. And to echo Captain Rotruck, absolutely, we take our -- our orders and directions from higher authority and if our mission shifts we will -- we'll do what we can to meet that mission. We are accomplishing our mission and showing the power of Navy Medicine in support of the American people, and we will stay here until it is decided that our support is deemed no longer necessary. Just to confirm, the Comfort has taken three patients so far? USNS Comfort arrives in New York City . Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy, the commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM), joined " Your World with Neil Cavuto " … Capt. Email, social media continue to come in. CAPTAIN Patrick K. Amersbach Commanding Officer USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) CAPT Amersbach is a native of Bowie, Maryland. I got family in Baltimore. AMERSBACH: Non-COVID, excuse me, non-COVID-19 patients. Credit: Courtesy | Date Taken: 04/02/2020 Navy Capt. AMERSBACH: Ma'am, I can't speak to that. I know that they're referred -- the patients are referred to the ships from the hospitals, so can you talk a little bit about why is it only, you know, 15 patients for the Mercy and I think you said three for the Comfort? We received our first patients last night and are ready to receive more in order to provide safe, high-quality health care to non-COVID patients of New York City. We just answer those calls as appropriate. This is -- this is Captain Amersbach. Over. Now, who knows if that will continue, but how difficult would it be to relocate the ship -- actually either ship -- for another hotspot such as New Orleans that may not have been that prepared and may see their cases surge? “I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support,” he said of the messages he’s received while deployed in NYC. Amersbach's career in the military has taken him all over the world, most recently to New York City, where the Comfort is a large part of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. Okay, I just want to ask two quick follow ups and then one question that -- Captain Rotruck, when you say that the local hospitals are -- are testing the people before they're transferred, you don't mean that they're physically getting a -- a COVID test that's being sent out and -- and -- and have to be tested negative before they're transferred, right? 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