In the face of the still severe epidemic and the slow rollout of vaccines, some local government officials in California hope that U.S. military medical personnel and the U.S. Navy hospital ship T-AH-19 “Mercy” can come to support in response to the surge of local coronavirus patients.
However, the U.S. Navy found that they could not meet the request of local government officials in the United States.
Because the only medical ship of the U.S. military on the west coast, the Mercy, was sent for a mid-term overhaul last July, and it could not undertake the task until April this year.
According to the US Naval Association News Network (USNI) on January 5, the U.S. Navy medical ship Mercy has been carrying out main structure maintenance since July last year.
The purpose of this repair is to help the hospital ship, which entered service in the 1980s, continue to serve until 2036. In addition, the ship’s aviation facilities have been upgraded during this maintenance.
Navy spokesman Tom Van Leunen told USNI News: “The Navy medical ship Mercy is currently located at the Wiggle Industrial Shipyard in Portland, Oregon, where it has been undergoing major overhauls since July 2020.
During this maintenance, we upgraded the flight deck of the Mercy to enable it to take off and land the Osprey rotor, and we also upgraded the lifeboat and frame.
Renand finally said that the maintenance work will continue until next spring, after which the ship will undergo a month of sea trials and other post-maintenance tests and training before returning to normal combat readiness.
In response, USNI said that the medical ship Mercy will not start to deal with the task until the end of April at the earliest.
Previously, the thousand-bed Mercy had travelled to Los Angeles to support the fight against the epidemic at the beginning of the year. However, from her arrival in Hong Kong on March 27 to her departure on May 15, Mercy only admitted 77 patients.
During this period, the ship also broke out of an epidemic, and several crew members were infected with the novel coronavirus.
As the pressure of the epidemic continues to increase, some local government officials in the United States have sent letters asking Mercy to come out again to help treat patients to reduce stress.
According to ABC 10News, Los Angeles County Executive Councilor Janice Hahn said on the 30th that she had written to California Governor Gavin Newsom about the severe epidemic, and she also wrote to the letter.
Ask for the help of the National Guard medical staff and the U.S. Navy hospital ship Mercy to come to support in response to the surge of local coronavirus patients.
In the letter, Hahn requested that Governor Newsom could make a local request to the federal government to provide as many medical resources as possible.
She wrote: “I also ask you [Newsom] to appeal to the federal government’s partners to bring accompanying medical staff and drive the Mercy to Port of Los Angeles.”
If hospitalizations for COVID-19 continue to rise, it will exceed the human and resource capacity that local hospitals can afford, and Los Angeles County hospitals may have to adopt “rational medical services”, according to Hahn’s office.
USNI said that the repair began just as hospitals on the West Coast of the United States were approaching the limit and a “pressure relief valve” was urgently needed to be found.