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Javits Center readies for transformation into COVID-19 hospital

Posted: 8:12 PM, Mar 23, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-23 20:21:32-04

HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan — Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Hell's Kitchen as one of the sites that will be converted into FEMA temporary hospitals to treat those ill with COVID-19.

On Monday, Cuomo toured the location, and gave a blunt assessment of what lies ahead.

"I'm more worried about the equipment [than hospital beds], because many of these acute cases are going to need ventilators," he said. "And we need about 30,000 ventilators, and we cannot just get them."

Cuomo added that the worst is likely yet to come.

So instead of getting ready to host the annual International car show, the Javits Center’s main floor is set to be converted in to four separate emergency hospitals, each housing 250 beds, staffed by a few hundred federal workers.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said an extra thousand beds will be ready to serve as overflow spaces for the city's hospitals.

"We have put on what we call PTDO — prepare to deploy orders — 5 such unites that will be prepared to deploy," Esper said.

"You do what you have to do. It's the New York Way. That's the American way. And we're going to get this done," Cuomo said.