MYSTERY WIRE — State and local officials see resources. Defense Secretary Mark Esper sees limits.
Sure, the military is going to help America get through the coronavirus crisis. It’s already doing so. But Esper says officials may think the military moves quicker than it actually does when it comes to projects that would help civilian hospitals. That’s the gist of his comments in an article from Defense One.
To be clear, the military is contributing:
- 1 million N95 respirator masks, and eventually up to 5 million
- 2,000 room ventilators
- National Guard and Reserve units to help with the nationwide response
But conversations about building or expanding hospitals had Esper scratching his head.
The Mystery Wire coronavirus blog, updated daily.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has made repeated public requests for the Army Corps of Engineers to help enlarge his state’s hospital capacity to handle an expected surge of COVID-19 patients. But Esper says that’s not really what the Corps of Engineers does, Defense One reports.
“My hunch is it’s probably quicker to be done at the state or local level,” Esper says.
Esper says military combat hospitals could take pressure off civilian hospitals by treating non-coronavirus patients.