Navy Lt. Patrick Marsh, ’14 is an ER nurse on the hospital ship USNS Mercy which arrived in Los Angeles, California after departing from the Naval Base in San Diego to support FEMA, the state of California, and the city in their ongoing Covid-19 relief efforts. Navy medical personnel and support staff are treating non-Covid-19 patients to allow local health professionals to treat those suffering from the virus. However, the Defense Department is conducting a risk assessment to determine whether or not they will take on all-COVID patients in an effort to relieve the stress on overburdened city hospitals.
Lt. Marsh was interviewed by WGN reporter, Tonya Francisco and stated that although they are not seeing COVID-19 patients, they are seeing “gunshot wounds, stab wounds, surgical patients…and when you are in navy medicine you are always on the front lines.”
The Mercy’s homeported is San Diego and normally is in reduced operating status. Her 800-member crew remains a part of the staff of Naval Medical Center San Diego until ordered into mission. The vessel has 1,000 hospital beds.
California now has reported nearly 3,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.