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USNS Mercy Arrives in Los Angeles to Aid COVID-19 Response

March 27, 2020 | BY David Vergun , DOD News

"The spirit of collaboration and cooperation is alive in this state," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said as the Navy hospital ship USNS Mercy docked in Los Angeles to aid in treating trauma patients to allow local hospitals to more easily handle cases from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ship docks.
Ship Docks
The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy arrives in Los Angeles, March 27, 2020. It deployed from San Diego in support of the nation’s COVID-19 response efforts.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 1st Class David Mora Jr.
VIRIN: 200327-N-UV609-1120M

Newsom, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Navy Rear Adm. John E. Gumbleton, Expeditionary Strike Group 3 commander, spoke with reporters as the ship arrived in Los Angeles from San Diego.

The Mercy is now the largest hospital in Los Angeles, Garcetti said.

Gumbleton said the Mercy's presence will allow local hospitals in Los Angeles to concentrate on COVID-19 care while its medical crew handles cases that are not related to COVID-19.

Sailors bear body on a stretcher.
Medical Training
Sailors assigned to the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy transport a simulated casualty during a medical training exercise in San Diego, March 26, 2020. The Mercy deployed to Los Angeles in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.
Photo By: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Ryan M. Breeden
VIRIN: 200326-N-PH222-1208M
Medical personnel work in medical lab.
Surgical Prep
Sailors prepare surgical equipment to be sterilized aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy in San Diego, March 25, 2020. The Mercy deployed to Los Angeles in support of the nation's COVID-19 response efforts.
Photo By: Navy Seaman Luke Cunningham
VIRIN: 200325-N-LW757-2029M

Marines are also helping with logistics, Newsom noted, adding that 500 National Guardsmen are on patrol doing humanitarian work throughout the state.

Garcetti said the National Guard will have its hands full, as it is also preparing for the wildfire season in addition to COVID-19.