President Trump said Thursday that the head of Carnival Corporation has offered the company’s ships to help the country deal with the coronavirus pandemic by freeing up hospital beds occupied by people who do not have the virus.
“I spoke with [Chairman] Micky Arison of Carnival Cruise Lines and he is going to make ships available. So in addition to the big medical ships that we have going, if we should need ships, lots of rooms, they’ll be docked at New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco different places. So I want to thank Mickey Arison. That was kind of a surprise,” Trump said during the White House briefing on the crisis, referring to a pair of US Navy floating hospitals expected to be dispatched to the east and west coasts.
The company, in a statement, said that on board medical clinics can provide up to seven intensive care units but would only be available for those who do not have the virus.
“If needed, cruise ships are capable of being quickly provisioned to serve as hospitals with up to 1,000 hospital rooms that can treat patients suffering from less critical, non-COVID-19 conditions,” the statement said.
Carnival said that ships from some of its brands, including Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises, would be made available.
Trump said he would talk to the governors of New York, California and other states about the offer later Thursday.