Trump Says Carnival Offers Ships for Medical Use

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

March 19, 2020

(File photo: Carnival Corp)

(File photo: Carnival Corp)

U.S. President Donald Trump revealed Thursday that Carnival Corp. chairman Micky Arison has said he will make some cruise ships from his idled fleet available to be used in addition to the U.S. Navy hospital ships being deployed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This morning, I spoke with Micky Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines and he’s going to make ships available. So in addition to the big medical ships that you have coming, if we need ships with lots of rooms, they’ll be docked at New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco, different places,” Trump said during a media briefing at the White House.

At Trump's request, Carnival and other cruise lines have suspended operations for at least 30 days to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Two U.S. Navy hospital ships, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, are already being prepared to aid shoreside medical facilities that could become overrun due to the coronavirus outbreak. Comfort, currently undergoing maintenance in Norfolk, Va., will be deployed to New York, while Mercy will be deployed to a West Coast location.

The Department of Defense said the ships would not be used to treat COVID-19 patients, but to take non-coronavirus patient care off the hands of onshore hospital staff while they deal with COVID-19 patients.

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