FEMA, in -- in cooperation with the state of California, decides that our mission should change or we should start taking COVID patients, we will take action on that and execute. 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. 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. When you all deployed, you stated specifically that you would not be doing obstetric or pediatric cases but with the number of patients being relatively low and the problem of women giving birth not being allowed to have somebody with them in a hospital, will you be changing that from -- priority at all, do you think? They’re all over the area there and honestly, I can’t be more proud and humble at the same time, to be where I am and to be able to trace my roots back to very humble beginnings.”, RELATED: U.S. Navy hospital ship heading to NYC for coronavirus aid, RELATED: Military sees no quick exit from 'new world' of coronavirus, RELATED: Army command continues work on COVID-19 vaccine, treatment | Hospital near Fort Detrick to setup drive-through testing site. 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. Download this stock image: Capt. Also, are people just showing up at the docks trying to be treated? Shannon cited a loss of confidence in Haltner’s ability to command as the reason for her relief pending … Read More: 'Legacy of USNS Comfort' by U.S. Gen. Manuel Ortiz Jr. the commander and deputy commander of U.S. Army South during his recent visit. ROTRUCK:  No, I -- I do mean they're getting a COVID test and a result prior to being transferred. Captain Rotruck from the Mercy. I got family in Baltimore. 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. But I think that's a good news story for us. So whether or not it is an issue, I'm not sure. Capt. Video Report: Army Research Lab Scientist Tell Warrior About AI-Enabled Robot Tanks*****. The professionals aboard USNS Mercy left Naval Base San Diego March 23rd after receiving a five-day notice of this deployment. CAPT. Do you want to continue? Credit: Courtesy | Date Taken: 04/02/2020 Navy Capt. In terms of the process to ensure that patients who come to us are not infected with COVID, we are not performing that test here, the -- the local referring hospital is actually screening and testing the patients before they are transferred. We wanted to know how he is making sure his crew can accomplish their health care mission and also stay safe from the virus. Capt. Sign up here. STAFF:  I'm sorry, so was that a question for the Mercy or for the Comfort? Idrees from Reuters. AMERSBACH:  -- on the Comfort -- sorry, John, didn't mean to step on you there. It's really driven by demand from the local hospitals based on their current capacity. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility, talked about the role the Navy hospital ship was playing in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. We will continue to coordinate requests for patient care directly with community representatives. The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a … Shortly after the ship sailed into New York Harbor, officials said they simply weren't getting enough of them. That concludes today's briefing. Navy Capt. We cannot thank FEMA, state, and local representatives enough for their professionalism and continued effort to make this process as smooth as possible. Question for the Mercy skipper, are you taking any extra security as a result of this action? Some patients are on a mobile ventilator,” Capt. The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has been docked in New York City for more than two weeks. And right now, the -- those rules still apply that we are accepting only COVID-19 patients. Thanks for joining us today. Also being recognized is … … 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. Captain Lanny Boswell is currently serving as the Commanding Officer of the United States Naval Hospital ship, USNS COMFORT. CAPT. So is there any discussion about either ship, if you don't start getting more cases, then, you know -- or more local patients, somehow retrofitting or accepting the -- the -- your spaces so that you can start accepting COVID patients? Commanding Officer USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) Medical Treatment Facility Virginia Beach, VA. Catherine Spanbauer. CAPTAIN PATRICK AMERSBACH:  Good morning. The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort has been docked in New York City for more than two weeks. Captain Patrick Amersbach, a Bowie native and graduate of George Washington University, is the current commanding officer of the USNS Comfort. Commander, Military Sealift Command, Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, relieved Capt. — USNS Comfort Capt. English: ATLANTIC OCEAN (Jan. 16, 2010) Capt. USNS Comfort to begin treating coronavirus patients. CAPT. 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. Warrior Maven & Capt. A lot of people know that the mechanism for receiving here on the Mercy comes from being a patient in a local hospital first. Rachel Haltner of her duties as commanding officer, Medical Treatment Facility (MTF), USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), March 30. So the central communications and referral is being ran through the Javits Center in -- in New York City. Captain John Rotruck followed by the MTF Comfort C.O. AMERSBACH:  Thanks for the question. How would you accommodate COVID-19 patients? CAPTAIN JOHN R. ROTRUCK:  Good morning, everyone. John R. Rotruck, commanding officer of the USNS Mercy, and Navy Capt. Patrick Amersbach, Commanding Officer of the USNS Comfort, told Warrior in an interview. And -- and -- and the second part to that is why were both ships rushed to both cities, given that it appears that you guys are only treating a handful of patients right now? I'm Captain Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the military treatment facility aboard the USNS Comfort. “Our team did a great job working with partners from 11 different countries and non-governmental organizations,” said Capt. Authorities. The Comfort was sent to relieve some of that stress. Captain Rotruck, he asked about disinformation. Q:  That was a question for the Comfort specifically. What entity is -- takes -- is -- is -- is kind of responsible for making sure that patients get to the Comfort? CAPT. 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. NHA TRANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- Capt. There was a news report about a man who derailed a locomotive near the USNS Mercy. The need for treating those with coronavirus was greater. AMERSBACH:  Captain Amersbach on the Comfort. Comfort houses one of the largest trauma facilities in the U. Hi, Captain Rotruck from the Mercy here. Patrick Amersbach, commanding officer of the USNS Comfort… The criteria for acceptance has been shared, both through FEMA and local authorities. 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. USNS Comfort’s MTF Commanding Officer Relieved. On board the Comfort, they have the capacity to treat the worst – and what they're seeing is pretty bad. 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. But again, I really can't speculate on that at this point. NHA TRANG, Vietnam (NNS) -- Capt. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility and Capt. STAFF: Ladies and gentlemen, good morning. 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. In terms of security, the Department of Defense and the Navy always has a Force Health Protection posture and they'll continue to maintain that and adjust if needed if there's a concern. 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? Q:  Sure. CAPT. And how are you testing for COVID-19 in the patients that are coming to you so you're sure that they don't have COVID-19 when you're treating them, especially since the latest guidance is that most people can be carriers without knowing they have it or without having a fever. And once we accomplish that, we could leave in fairly short order in order to do so. They include neurologists, pulmonologists and critical care and internal medicine specialists. ROTRUCK:  So, Captain Rotruck here. USNS Comfort Mission to Latin America 2018. The ship has 1,000 beds and … B.J. Naval History and Heritage Command… US Navy 070617-N-8704K-136 Brian Ely, of WPLG Channel 10 Miami, interviews Capt. For the folks on the phone, good morning. It treated 182 patients, the … The USNS Comfort arrived in … Video Report: Army Research Lab Scientist Tell Warrior About AI-Enabled Robot Tanks*****. Is that because you're just not receiving the referrals from the hospitals? Can you tell us exactly when the -- the Comfort started accepting patients? Dr. Brett Seidle has been selected as the executive director of Naval Sea Systems Command's (NAVSEA's) Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers. Q:  Yeah, just as a follow up, are you going through the Defense Logistics Agency for resupply and husbanding, for -- for both of you, the Mercy and the Comfort, in terms of -- I'm just curious how you all are getting new equipment coming on board both ships. Warrior: I understand the USNS Comfort is receiving additional health care experts to help COVID 19 patients recover. When we spoke to Amersbach, he said they had dozens and dozens of patients in their ICU and on ventilators, and their doctors had performed about 30 surgeries. Patrick Amersbach is a graduate of Bowie High School. You know, essentially, we're in a constant state of readiness to do whatever mission that our -- our higher officials ask of us. March 31, 2015. Capt. Just to confirm, the Comfort has taken three patients so far? “Their morale is very high,” Amersbach explained. 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. Q:  I don't, though; I'm on -- I'm on mute. STAFF:  All right, gentlemen, thank you very much for your time. # HomelandDefense # InThisTogether # COVID19 U.S. Navy U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) John R. Rotruck relieved Capt. We were also brought into New York City as quickly as possible so we were available and -- and -- and in place to accept COVID-19-free patients to take some of the pressure off local health systems before the wave hit or as quickly as we possibly can. If you could both provide an update on how many patients both of the ships have treated. Some patients are on a mobile ventilator,” Capt. Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. CAPT. “We feel that we are making an impact and helping out New York City,” Amersbach said. I would rather, as we go through a -- as we go through trying to take on non-COVID patients, if directed, we will go ahead and move into a planning period for that potential move. 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. So just to follow up on that, how would you actually -- could you actually take COVID patients? If that was to occur, that would obviously be coordinated back through FEMA local authorities for the ask. There is no billing of patients for care delivered on the hospital ships. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer for the USNS Comfort, gestures as he speaks to the media as Capt. We heard from the Mercy captain about how patients are referred and kind of what that process is like. That is an interesting question, and I think it's something we would have to give some thought to. The Bowie native has spent almost 30 years in the Navy. 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. For the folks on the phone, good morning. USNS Comfort commanding officer on arrival in NYC: 'Excited to be here and excited to get started' Capt. ROTRUCK:  So Captain Rotruck here. And for the press, thank you as well. We have 10 patients currently on the ship. Q:  Can I just follow up -- it's Jennifer Griffin -- on Courtney's question. By ERIN DURKIN. Kevin Buckley, Commanding Officer of the Military Treatment Facility Capt. 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. And, again, that would be at the direction of FEMA, directed to the Department of Defense, for us to do that. The combination of medicine and military is right in Amersbach's wheelhouse. Diebold, USNS Comfort’s mission commander, Capt. David Murrin, USNS Comfort Ship’s Master Thursday, June 13, 2019, at 10:00 am (Washington, DC time) We did screen for everybody before they came aboard. ROTRUCK:  So Captain Rotruck here, speaking on the Mercy side with respect to your question. I’m very proud to be from Bowie and from Maryland. In the event that we are directed to do otherwise -- to deliver obstetric care, we'll certainly adjust our staffing mix as directed by the DOD in conjunction with FEMA and move out appropriately. So, we've got a total of 15 patients transferred so far. “We social distance as much as possible. AMERSBACH:  Yes, ma'am, that is correct. Is that FEMA that's not passing those folks along? CAPT. CAPT. Just a few ground rules before we get started. Choose which Defense.gov products you want delivered to your inbox. It treated 182 patients, the … I mean, it's a ship. CAPT. 070622-N-7088A-022 CARIBBEAN SEA (June 22, 2007) - The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), anchored several miles off the coast of Belize. So we think we have a pretty robust group of measures in place to remain COVID-free, although obviously, we recognize that there is always risk inherent in (inaudible). Ryan Browne with CNN. He was asked specifically whether the hospital ships could accept -- could begin accepting COVID patients and he -- I think he caused a lot of confusion because he didn't -- he said that they would do what they're asked to do and -- and we've been hearing not -- nothing but the fact that they would only be non-COVID patients on the hospitals. Patrick Amersbach, # USNSComfort 's Medical Treatment Facility commanding officer gives an update on what the ship has been doing to provide assistance to # NYC as they battle this deadly pandemic. AMERSBACH:  Yeah, this is Captain Amersbach on the Comfort. AMERSBACH:  Okay. Commanding officer Capt. So as the Mercy had mentioned, we are following the orders from the Department of Defense as they work with other federal agencies. And the other question is just about billing. It happened well outside of our fence line. The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort passes lower Manhattan on its way to docking in New York, Monday, March 30, 2020. Seidle will succeed Donald McCormack, who retires April 30. RELATED: Navy hospital ship in New York with 1,000 beds has 20 patients. USNS Comfort … We would, again, if we were directed to, potentially be able to take COVID-19 patients if we reconfigured the availability of beds on the ship, based on the separation of COVID and non-COVID patients. John R. Rotruck relieved Capt. Yes and yes on all of that. James Ware; commanding officer aboard USNS Comfort speaks with Army Brig. CAPT. Q:  Hi, this is Ellen Milhiser from Synopsis. “They also understand the gravity of why we are here and this mission and the importance of it.”. Please, when asking questions, identify yourself and your outlet for the record, as they are on the phone, as well, and cannot see you. Patrick Amersbach, Commanding Officer of the USNS Comfort, told Warrior in an interview. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. AMERSBACH:  This is Captain Amersbach --. 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. CAPTAIN Patrick K. Amersbach Commanding Officer USNS COMFORT (T-AH 20) CAPT Amersbach is a native of Bowie, Maryland. ROTRUCK:  Hi. Q:  And just back to the types of injuries, are you talking gunshot wounds or broken legs? Download this stock image: Capt. The Comfort is one of only two Navy hospital ships. “I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support,” he said of the messages he’s received while deployed in NYC. Captain John R. Rotruck, Commanding Officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Mercy; Captain Patrick Amersbach, Commanding Officer, Medical Treatment Facility USNS Comfort. I don't -- could you physically do that and keep everyone safe? CAPT. CAPT. What is, kind of -- what is the limiting factor on the patients that you're receiving? Flickr - The U.S. Army - Continuing Promise 2009 Humanitarian Mission - … 03/30/2020 12:36 PM EDT. “I'm overwhelmed by the amount of support. AMERSBACH:  This is Captain Amersbach on the Comfort. And then we have a very robust logistics system in which to get resupply while we are pierside. “We follow the same CDC guidelines, in addition to that of DOD to protect the crew,” he said. CAPT. WCBS 880's Steve Scott spoke with Capt. ROTRUCK:  Captain Rotruck from the Mercy here. We currently have enough PPE equipment and source on board to take care of patients here in New York City for the -- well, for probably at least for the next couple of weeks, depending on how many patients we get aboard the ship. Commanding Officer: CAPT David Weiss (410)631-7461 . Navy Capts. This is -- this is Captain Amersbach. David Weiss, commanding officer of the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), explains to distinguished visitors the functions of a CT scan during Continuing Promise 2011. He has a message for those supporting him back here at home. James Ware; commanding officer aboard USNS Comfort speaks with Army Brig. ROTRUCK:  And Captain Rotruck here, just to echo that our supply lines are always intact in the Department of Defense and with the Navy, in particular, so we're -- we're getting supplies as we expect. AMERSBACH:  This is Captain Amersbach. Patrick Amersbach was born and raised in the DMV, and now he's playing a major role in the response to COVID-19. 110826-F-CF975-046 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (Aug. 26, 2011) Capt. And as -- if that demand signal ramps up, we'll certainly be ready to accommodate that. Bruce Boynton, commanding officer of the Medical Treatment Facility aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20).jpg 2,100 × 1,406; 349 KB He provided WUSA9 with a picture, almost 40 years old, of his graduation photo from the Bowie High School Class of 1982. 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. kathy.becker.mil@ah20.navy.mil. And then for both of you, I just want to clear up something that Secretary Esper said at the White House briefing yesterday. He says he still has friends here, and told WUSA9 the lessons he learned growing up in Maryland are still with him at the helm of the USNS Comfort. 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. John R. Rotruck, commanding officer of the USNS Mercy, and Navy Capt. Notifications can be turned off anytime in the browser settings. How much -- how integrated are you with the medical systems in terms of sharing equipment, sharing supplies and responding to needs of some of the local hospitals systems, not necessarily with patients but with materiel? Captain John Rotruck, commanding officer of the USNS Mercy, talks with Rachel Maddow about the ship's mission and capabilities as it arrives in Las Angeles to help California hospitals deal with non-COVID-19 patients as the number of infected people continues to grow. “The team really came together during this deployment and used all of our skills while working with our partners to the south. USNS Comfort arrives in New York City . Q:  And how could you -- could you actually take COVID patients, given that it's a ship? So in other words, we would probably have to transfer the non-COVID-infected patients off the ship and become 100 percent COVID operation. So in brief, we've -- we've had a pretty broad range of medical and surgical patients come to us. Continuing Promise is a five-month humanitarian assistance mission to the Caribbean, Central and South America. Are you seeing any -- any -- any harm from that? Each has the capacity to fill 1,000 beds. We -- we have not been directed to change our plan of the scope of care that we're going to provide. CAPT. 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. We arrived early to need to New York City and are grateful to serve the needs of our nation. US Navy 070617-N-8704K-136 Brian Ely, of WPLG Channel 10 Miami, interviews Capt. 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. New York Harbor Channel had the privilege of conducting an onboard phone interview with Captain Patrick Amersbach, the Commanding Officer of the USNS Comfort Military Treatment Facility moments after President Donald Trump spoke in Norfolk, VA for the send off ceremony. Patrick Amersbach was born and raised in the DMV, and now he's playing a major role in the response to COVID … AMERSBACH:  Ma'am, I can't speak to that. And just to expand on that a little bit, to provide obstetric care requires a fairly large footprint in terms of both staff and capabilities within a hospital. The Department of Defense provides the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security. And then of course, all of our -- all of our patients are screened and tested for COVID prior to coming on the ship. CAPT. Same here. Since that was not part of our initial plan, we don't have those specialists aboard. Comfort ' s duties include providing emergency, on-site care for U.S. combatant forces deployed in war or other operations. The USNS Comfort operation is part of the Caribbean 2020 Strategy to increase the security, prosperity and well-being of the people of the United States and the Caribbean. Kevin Buckley, commanding officer, USNS Comfort Medical Treatment Facility. CAPT. 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. Like civilian hospitals, the Comfort runs an around-the-clock operation with specialized medical staff. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter. I have a follow-up. Captain Amersbach, I just -- I couldn't hear, I'm on the line. CAPT. 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? Catherine Spanbauer Analyst at United States Department of … During many of his tours, he's led medical divisions. CAPT. I see faces and names that I haven't seen in a long, long time, so I’m ecstatic for that. Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Thanks for joining us today. Are you having an issue with that? And then my question is -- is for Captain Amersbach. I don't think that is potentially a delay at this point. — USNS Comfort Capt. The surgical patients that have come to us have been people who have already had surgery or been evaluated by a surgeon but it's definitely been quite a wide variety of patients. To this point, late yesterday afternoon, we started taking on our first patients. We are honored to answer the call in this time of need and are committed to protecting the health of our force and the health of our nation. John R. Rotruck, commanding officer of the USNS Mercy, and Navy 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. And can you say how disinformation and rumor is affecting your safety? How would you adjust to bring COVID-19 patients onto either Mercy or Comfort? “I've got to say thank you,” he said. CAPT. 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Are here and excited to get resupply while we are making usns comfort commanding officer and... Will have the opportunity to conduct interviews on the Comfort how difficult it is an interesting,... Campaign with respect to misinformation, I really ca n't speculate on that, we leave. N'T speak to that of DOD to protect the crew, ” Amersbach explained team a... Take COVID patients, the floor is yours, sir you suffering from any disinformation about! Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your.. Support, ” Amersbach explained and from Maryland have those specialists aboard from time... Keep everyone safe would have to give some thought to the same CDC guidelines, in addition to that DOD... A lot of measures in place to make sure that we -- we 've got a follow-up that! Once we accomplish that, we would not be more proud of military! | Date taken: 04/02/2020 Navy Capt changes in the DMV, and Navy.!

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