first published on March 19, 2020 by Will
Hundreds of active duty medical personnel have been put on alert to respond to the increasing spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The troops will set up and staff approximately 1,000 hospital beds in field hospitals across the country. The Defense Department chose to tap the active component rather than the Reserves, because many of the Reserve medical personnel are already working in the medical field within their communities.
However, National Guard units of varying job and mission types have already been activated to assist with the government response.
In addition to the troops and field hospitals, two US Navy hospital ships, USNS Mercy and Comfort, will deploy toward infection hotspots to assist with medical assets. According to the reports, the hospital ships will be used to treat non-infected patient injuries, because the coronavirus would spread too easily aboard a ship’s tight confines.