The Cathedral of St. John The Divine will become a temporary hospital, accommodating at least 200 patients, The NY Times reports. Patients are expected to arrive by the end of the week. Church officials are currently unclear about whether these will be coronavirus patients or not.
The cathedral’s dean, Reverend Clifton Daniel III, told the Times that nine climate-controlled medial tents would be erected inside the cathedral. The church’s crypt will be used as a staging area for medical personnel.
James Patterson, the director of the church’s facilities and capital projects, said that about 400 beds have already been delivered.
Doctors from the nearby Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital will be working with patients at the church.
Samaritan’s Purse is also involved in this project. The Christian group recently organized the temporary field hospital in Central Park, which lead to quite a few criticisms and concerns over their historically homophobic and discriminatory reputation.
However, Mayor de Blasio stated that he’s been assured no discriminatory practices would take place at either temporary hospital.
In a video interview with Democracy Now, Reverend Clifton Daniel is asked why they’ve decided to work with Samaritan’s Purse:
“I know what Franklin Graham stands for, and I’m not for what he stands for … at all. But at the same time, we’re in the business of saving lives and helping people, and I think if you’re in the dessert dying of thirst and somebody hands you a glass of water, you don’t check their drivers license, you just say thank you. So I said thank you.”
Featured images by Flickr user Kripa Chettiar