SOUTHERN BROOKLYN – As Brooklyn struggles to increase hospital capacity in response to the coronavirus outbreak, Congressman Max Rose has urged the federal government to open veteran hospital facilities to the general public.
Rose, who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York’s 11th congressional district, which covers parts of southern Brooklyn, has written to Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo about the problem. For veteran hospitals to open their doors to the rest of the community, Cuomo needs to make a request to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“As our civilian hospitals fill with patients, we must consider these facilities as options. Veteran Affairs was built to operate in these emergency conditions, and should be utilized,” says Rose. “As a veteran myself, I never want to take away from the Veteran Affairs’ ability to serve and treat our veterans. But if we do not act now that will happen and for a much longer time.”
Coronavirus infections in New York City are spreading rapidly, and local pols are urging Brooklyn residents to stay home to avoid exposure. On Monday, March 16th, Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio signed an executive order limiting bars, cafes, and restaurants to food take-out and delivery, and closing catering halls, gyms, and movie theaters. Schools will shut their doors until Monday, April 20th, at the earliest. However, local hospitals are close to breaking point.
Governor Cuomo opened the first drive-through testing facility in New York City on Staten Island on Thursday, March 19th.