(Liberty Bell) – Yet another expensive coronavirus field hospital has closed without ever having seen a single patient.
A Brooklyn, New York field hospital authorized by the de Blasio administration, which set the taxpayers back roughly $21 million, opened and closed without ever having seen a single patient, the New York Post reports.
Field hospitals were erected at several sites across NYC’s five boroughs throughout the course of the pandemic to relieve the city’s hospital system, including at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans of its construction in March 31, one day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York Harbor to cater to non-COVID-19 patients as the city’s hospitals became overburdened.
The $20.8 million Red Hook field hospital had an estimated capacity of 750 beds and was constructed by the Texas-based company SLSCO.
“They are going to set it up rapidly and we’re then going to go to the next site, the next site, the next site to meet our goal,” de Blasio told reporters during a press conference at the time.
The mayor also outlined details to turn Queens’ Billie Jean King National Tennis Center into a temporary, 350-bed hospital.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was expected to being operation in April, but this was delayed until May 4th.
Now, however, it is being disbanded after never having been used, The City reported.
“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,” de Blasio spokeswoman Avery Cohen told The Post Friday.
“Over the past few months, social distancing, face coverings, and other precautionary measures have flattened the curve drastically, and we remain squarely on focused taking that progress even further,” she added.
FEMA is expected to reimburse funds for Red Hook hospital.
There have been several other incidents of temporary field hospitals coming down after never seeing a single patient.
In Harris County, Texas, where Houston is, a $17 million temporary field hospital was taken down after accommodating no patients, while in Seattle, Washington, a hospital that had been erected at Centurylink Field Events Center by the US Army Corps of Engineers was taken down on March 27th.