A field hospital set up in Brooklyn specifically for coronavirus patients is now being dismantled without having served a single patient, The City reported.
As New York City quickly became the global COVID-19 epicenter, city officials ordered that many sites across the city be converted into field hospitals. At the time, experts said the growing pandemic would easily overwhelm the city’s hospital system.
One such site transformed into a hospital was the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook, which was designed to treat nearly 700 patients.
According to The City, the field hospital was “slated to open in mid-April but wasn’t ready for service until May 4.” But by the time construction was completed, New York’s coronavirus-related hospital population had dropped significantly, meaning the city no longer needed the field hospital.
And now, the site is being demolished.
What’s worse, city officials reportedly expect the Federal Emergency Management Agency — via the taxpayer — to pick up the $20.8 million tab for constructing and tearing down the temporary site.
The City reported that the bill would include an additional $2 million fee paid to a construction management firm.
“As part of our hospital surge, we expanded capacity at a breakneck speed, ensuring our hospital infrastructure would be prepared to handle the very worst. We did so only with a single-minded focus: saving lives,” Avery Cohen, a city hall spokesperson, said.
“Over the past few months, social distancing, face coverings, and other precautionary measures have flattened the curve drastically, and we remain squarely focused on taking that progress even further,” Cohen added.
Despite grisly predictions, New York on Saturday reported its lowest death toll since March.