America is now second only to China in coronavirus cases. Johns Hopkins reports there are more than 500,000 cases globally.

Staff/AFP/Getty Images
Staff/AFP/Getty Images

The Pentagon announced Thursday that it has awarded a $ 15 million contract to the operators of the Javits Center to convert the facility into a hospital by April 9 to help alleviate the burden the coronavirus is placing on civilian hospital infrastructure. 

This is separate than the field hospitals being set up this weekend in New York.

“New York Convention Center Operating Corp., New York, New York, was awarded a $ 15,250,000 firm-fixed-price contract to retrofit the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center into an alternate care facility,” the Pentagon contract announcement said.

The announcement said that the work is expected to be completed by April 9.

The US Army Corps of Engineers is overseeing the contract which is being funded via “ Fiscal 2020 defense emergency response funds.”

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said this earlier this week that he anticipates the field hospitals being used to temporarily alleviate the strain on civilian hospitals in order to allow the US Army Corps of Engineers to retrofit hotels, convention centers and college dormitories into makeshift hospitals.

“How I foresee our hospitals being used is during the early stages of the pandemic, the virus hitting a city where they’re still trying to ramp up capability, bed space, we can come in for a short period of time, for a few weeks to provide that capacity until they get either gyms converted, hotels converted, college dorms converted, all those things that the Corps of Engineers is working on right now,” Esper said.


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