The international Christian humanitarian organization plans to open a 68-bed field hospital and respiratory care unit.
"People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed," said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse, in a statement. "We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden."
"This is what Samaritan's Purse does – we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus' Name," he continued. "Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus."
The Samaritan’s Purse hospital should be set up early this week. Doctors, nurses, lab technicians, water and sanitation experts will staff the temporary hospital.
According to the New York Post, Dr. Elliot Tenpenny, who treated Ebola patients in West Africa, will lead the healthcare team at the field hospital.
“This is honestly the most improbable place we’ve ever been,” he told The Post.
“I never would have guessed we’d come to New York City with something like this. But New York never thought it would be dealing with a pandemic, either.”
Last week, Samaritan’s Purse opened a field hospital in Cremona, Italy. The Intensive Care Unit filled up all beds in just one day.
Brock Kreitzburg, who is managing Samaritan’s Purse international headquarters, said the group hopes to share the Gospel during this tumultuous time.
“We have hope in Jesus Christ. And so when we go there we are meeting the physical needs of course, but we’re also sharing the hope of Christ. And that’s ultimately what drives what we’re doing whether it’s a hurricane, or an earthquake, or Ebola or the coronavirus. Sharing the hope of Christ is what drives us," Kreitzburg said.
About half of the coronavirus cases in the U.S. are in the state of New York.
Photo courtesy: Samaritan's Purse Facebook Page
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.