Home / News / Mark Esper: DoD to Open Testing Labs, Readies Hospital Ships in Response to Coronavirus

Mark Esper: DoD to Open Testing Labs, Readies Hospital Ships in Response to Coronavirus

Jeff Brody
Mark Esper

Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the Department of Defense would open up to 16 laboratories to test civilians for the new coronavirus and offer up to 5M respirator masks and 2K specialized ventilators, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Esper, a 2020 Wash100 awardee, said DoD would also provide other personal protective equipment to frontline responders and potentially summon more National Reserve and Guard members to help with COVID-19 response efforts.

The U.S. military is also preparing its hospital ships, USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, for possible deployment to U.S. locations facing increasing number of COVID-19 cases, particularly in Washington state and New York. Each ship can accommodate up to 1K patients and is designed to deliver short-term care to patients.

Although DoD has not yet received a formal request for the use of such vessels, Esper said the ships could be used to support patients without the virus to reduce pressure on civilian hospitals.

Check Also

KBR Subsidiary Lands Potential $128M NOAA Observation Network Mgmt Support IDIQ

KBR’s (NYSE: KBR) Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies subsidiary has secured a potential five-year, $128.4M contract to provide data processing and technical services for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration network system used to process Earth observation data.

Raytheon Awarded Potential $353M Navy Contract for Rolling Airframe Missile Components

Raytheon (NYSE: RTN) has secured a potential $353.3M contract from the U.S. Navy to provide guided missile round packs and spare replacement parts for the Block 2 and 2A variants of the Rolling Airframe Missile system. The contract includes foreign military sales to Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Germany, the Department of Defense said Monday.