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On Monday, the USNS Comfort docked in New York City to aid in the area’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The Comfort, along with the USNS Mercy, which docked last Friday in Los Angeles, are 70,000-ton hospital ships that were built from converted oil tankers during the Cold War. Each ship has the capacity of 1,000 beds and a medical staff of up to 1,200. In addition to 12 fully equipped operating rooms, both the Comfort and the Mercy also offer radiology and dentistry services, medical and optometry labs, a pharmacy, and two oxygen-producing plants.
Since 1986, the Mercy and the Comfort have offered relief following both domestic and international disasters, including to New York City after 9/11, Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, and Haiti after the