US

$21 Million NY Field Hospital Closes Without Seeing Patients

By Paula Liu

The emergency hospital that took nearly $21 million to build closed down without seeing a single patient, New York officials told The City.

Mayor Bill de Blasio approved the project that converted the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook into a 670-bed field hospital, the outlet reported. He announced on March 31 it would be built to handle overcrowding in New York hospitals due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

The city worked with Texas-based company SLSCO in a no-bid contract to build the $20.8 million makeshift hospital.

The Billie Jean King Tennis Center was also turned into an emergency field hospital. The location in Flushing, New York, held around 350 beds and accepted its first patients on April 11.

These projects were announced at a time when there were more than 8,400 presumed or confirmed COVID-19 patients being treated at hospitals, reported The City.

NTD Photo
U.S. Army National Guard members unload boxes at the Jacob Javits Center on Manhattan’s West Side after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that he is converting the center into a field hospital, in New York on March 23, 2020. (Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images)

However, the number of patients diagnosed with the disease began dropping by April 12, meaning space at local hospitals began to free up.

The City reported that the field hospital set up at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal was supposed to open its doors in mid-April, but wasn’t ready until May 4. By then, however, the number of cases was already on a descent.

It is now being decommissioned after taking in no patients since its opening, according to the news outlet. Meanwhile, the makeshift hospital at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center saw a total of 79 patients before it was closed down.

City officials said that it cost about $19.8 million to turn the tennis center into a makeshift hospital and then back to a tennis center.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is supposed to pay the cost of both hospitals plus $2 million to a construction management company.