An approximately $ 21 million field hospital in Brooklyn authorized by the de Blasio administration at the top of the coronavirus pandemic was opened and closed without ever seeing a patient, according to city officials.
The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on Red Hook is one of several sites in five areas that were turned into medical facilities as a way to alleviate the burdened hospital system in the city when the COVID-19 crisis escalated.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans on March 31 – the day after the USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived at the Port of New York to help in the coronavirus war – for the $ 20.8 million Red Hook field hospital with an estimated capacity for 750 beds.
The field hospital was built by a Texas-based construction company SLSCO.
“They will set it up quickly and we will then go to the next site, the next site, the next site to meet our goals,” de Blasio told reporters at the site during a press conference where the mayor also outlined the details to change Billie Jean King’s National Tennis Center became a temporary hospital with 350 beds.
The emergency hospital at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is expected to open in April, but is not ready until May 4 – and is now disbanded after being left unused, The City first reported.
“As part of our hospital surge, we are expanding capacity very quickly, ensuring our hospital infrastructure will be ready to handle the worst. We do it with only one mind focus: saving lives, “de Blasio’s spokesman Avery Cohen told The Post Friday.
“Over the past few months, social distance, face covering, and other preventive measures have drastically curved the curve, and we remain focused on taking that progress further,” Cohen added.
Funds for the Red Hook hospital are expected to be replaced by FEMA.