Photo by Scott Matthews.
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine will not be setting up a hospital inside, according to reps for the cathedral, who said that Mt. Sinai called it off. The building was expected to treat as many as 400 patients, with Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse supplying the volunteer medical staff.
The building had already been set up with cots.
You will know them by their love — world’s largest gothic cathedral transforms into a hospital
(📷Mary Altaffer & Spencer Platt) pic.twitter.com/BRvqJ44PFA
— aries dela cruz (@riesinthewild) April 9, 2020
The cathedral sent us the following statement:
“We were notified this morning that Mount Sinai will not be pursuing its plans to build a field hospital at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at this moment. Our commitment to Mount Sinai and to the city, our longtime partners, stands firm, and we will do whatever is in our power to aid the medical workers heroically putting themselves on the front line to help the sick.
As we continue to stand ready to support all in this crisis, we reaffirm our core mission and staunch belief in the worth and dignity of all people, and open our virtual doors to all those who want to participate in Holy Week services.”
Mt. Sinai did not respond to a request for comment.
The Post reported that the volunteer group may help in other areas instead.
Lead volunteer Whitney Tilson said Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian humanitarian group that erected a field hospital in Central Park, had already set up some beds before they had to halt the work.
“We’ve set up 56 beds so far. And they’ve had us now pause, even though we could probably set up a few more before the end of today because hospitalizations in New York have come down a little bit,” Tilson told Reuters.
“And so Mount Sinai wants to wait and keep an eye on the number of people coming in and hopefully we can cross our fingers that this was all for naught and no patients come in here,” Tilson added.