Alerted by PortSide NewYork’s mailing list that the hospital ship USNS Comfort should pass the Statue of Liberty at 10:00 a.m., your correspondent walked the short distance from his building to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at 9:57, carefully observing social distancing. The big ship – 900 feet long and 70,000 gross tons – was right on time. It was a dreary, gray morning; the ship’s white hull and superstructure did not contrast well with the sky or water.
Comfort is now docked at Pier 90, on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. She has a full complement of medical personnel and 1,000 beds. Her purpose will be to handle the overflow of non-COVID-19 patients who would otherwise be treated in hospitals on land.