USNS Comfort arriving into NYC. March 30, 2020.

The USNS Comfort arrived in New York on Monday, bringing a massive Navy hospital ship to help relieve city hospitals overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.

The 1,000-bed floating hospital docked Monday at Pier 90 on Manhattan’s West Side, and is set to begin treating patients Tuesday.

The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort docks in New York, Monday, March 30, 2020. The ship has 1,000 beds and 12 operating rooms that could be up and running within 24 hours of its arrival on Monday morning. It’s expected to bolster a besieged health care system by treating non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

A naval hospital ship is coming to New York

Governor Cuomo also said on Wednesday that President Trump had agreed to dispatch a 1,000-bed hospital ship to New York Harbor as the state struggles to deal with a stark jump in coronavirus cases. The governor’s office later clarified was not expected to arrive in until April.

The ship, the U.S.N.S. Comfort, has previously been deployed to natural disaster zones, including to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“It has operating rooms,” Mr. Cuomo said. Drawing further on the U.S. military, Mr. Cuomo said he would meet with the Army Corps of Engineers on Wednesday as he seeks to rapidly add hospital beds.

Although Mr. Cuomo said the president had said he would dispatch the 894-foot ship “immediately,” Jonathan Hoffman, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday that the vessel was undergoing repairs in Norfolk, Va., and that it would be weeks before it sailed for New York.

USNS Comfort (T-AH-20) is the third United States Navy ship to bear the name Comfort, and the second Mercy-class hospital ship to join the U.S. Navy’s fleet. The USNS prefix identifies Comfort as a non-commissioned ship owned by the U.S. Navy and operationally crewed by civilians from the Military Sealift Command (MSC). A uniformed naval hospital staff and naval support staff is embarked when Comfort is deployed, said staffs consisting primarily of naval officers from the Navy’s Medical Corps, Dental Corps, Medical Service Corps, Nurse Corps and Chaplain Corps, and naval enlisted personnel from the Hospital Corpsman rating and various administrative and technical support ratings (e.g., Yeoman, Personnel Specialist, Information Systems Technician, Religious Program Specialist, etc.).

General characteristics
Displacement: 69,360 tons (70,470 t)
Length: 894 ft (272 m)
Beam: 105 ft 7 in (32.18 m)
Draft: 33 ft (10 m)
Propulsion: two boilers, two GE turbines, one shaft, 24,500 hp (18.3 MW)
Speed: 17.5 knots (20.1 mph; 32.4 km/h)
Complement: 63 civilian, 956 naval hospital staff, 258 naval support staff, up to 1,000 bed patients
Time to activate: 5 days
Aviation facilities: A flight deck that can handle military helicopters (CH-53D, CH-53E, MH-53E, Mi-17, UH 60)

 

Former LSU OL Matt Branch Lost Leg in Hunting Accident; Friend Says Dog Shot Him

If this wasn’t so tragic it could be considered a moment of levity.

dog

Former LSU Tigers offensive lineman Matt Branch lost his leg following a Dec. 28 hunting accident and remains hospitalized in the intensive care unit at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

Micah Heckford, a friend of Branch, told Brian Broom of the Clarion Ledger on Tuesday that a dog jumped onto the truck bed that Branch was sitting on and accidentally stepped on a shotgun’s safety and trigger.

“The gun shot,” Heckford said. “Everybody looked up. The first thing I saw was Matt and within two to three seconds he realized he was hit.”

He explained members of the group quickly transported Branch to a road where they could meet with firefighters, who began treatment on the wound.

“I think that’s when it hit me how serious it was,” Heckford told Broom. “It was at that point in time I realized how much he had bled. His pants were just soaked in blood.”

Along with the left leg amputation, Heckford said Branch has undergone several surgeries requiring the stay in the ICU, but he’s otherwise expected to make a full recovery.

Branch played for the Tigers from 2009 through 2011 after a redshirt year in 2008.

dog_with-shooter_6_1084749a

 

South African ‘world’s oldest man’ wants to stop smoking

Fredie Blom
Image captionFredie Blom says there is no special secret to his longevity

Fredie Blom spent most of his life as a labourer – on a farm and in the construction industry – in apartheid South Africa but he might soon be recognised as the world’s oldest man, as the BBC’s Mohammed Allie reports from Cape Town.

Although he gave up drinking many years ago, Fredie Blom is still a regular smoker.

“Every day I still smoke two to three ‘pills’,” – local slang for tobacco tightly rolled into a cigarette-length piece of newspaper. “I use my own tobacco because I don’t smoke cigarettes.

“The urge to smoke is so strong. Sometimes I tell myself I’m going to stop but it’s just me lying to myself. My chest chases me to have a puff and I’m then forced to make a ‘pill’.

“I blame the devil for that because he’s so strong,” he says with mischievous grin.

Celebrity status

The first thing that strikes one when meeting the centenarian is how remarkably healthy and solid he still looks.

A tall, well-built man, he walks unaided, if understandably slowly, and besides being a touch hard of hearing, he has absolutely no ailments.

The former farm worker, who turned 114 on 8 May, is said to be the oldest person still alive although this is yet to be verified by the Guinness World of Records.

The title was last held by a Jamaican woman, Violet Moss-Brown, until 15 September 2017 when she died at the age of 117.

Guinness World of Records says it is still consulting genealogists to confirm the next holders of the “world’s oldest man and woman” titles.

Fredie Blom
Image captionThere were doubts about his age until he produced his birth certificate

Mr Blom, who sports a slightly unkempt handlebar moustache and grey stubble beard, doesn’t have any special secret for his longevity.

“There’s only one thing – it’s the man above [God]. He’s got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me,” is his response when I ask him what keeps him going.

“I feel very healthy, I’m good. My heart is strong but it’s only my legs that are giving in – I can’t walk the way I used to,” he says, speaking in Afrikaans with a loud and clear voice.

He has inevitably acquired a celebrity status that has seen a constant stream of people ranging from locals to provincial government ministers coming to visit him in his modest home in Cape Town.

He said it’s a great feeling to know that people care. For his birthday, a local supermarket and the provincial department of social development presented him with big birthday cakes.

Fredie Blom and his wife
Image captionJanetta says her husband struggles to put on his shoes

Mr Blom is still strong enough to wash and dress himself although, according to his wife, he struggles to put on his shoes.

He also sometimes needs the assistance of his grandson to shave.

For someone who normally started his day at 4.30am in his working years, Mr Blom now rises much later and doesn’t do much around the house.

“I can’t do anything – I can’t even get on a ladder any longer. I just sit around. I don’t have time for the nonsense that’s on TV.”

He would rather sit outside his house and roll up another piece of newspaper and give in, once again, to the devil’s temptation.

BBC