The Army is deploying combat support hospitals to coronavirus hotspots across the country. Here's what Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a virtual town hall meeting:
"We're deploying army field hospitals to Seattle and to New York City. ... We've freed up equipment, medical supplies. I anticipate us deploying more expeditionary medical units in the coming days and weeks to do that. And eventually we'll probably pop in them around the country as need arises."
There will be three of these full-service hospitals. Each is designed to serve as a trauma hospital and will have operating rooms, intensive care unit beds, X-ray facilities and a pharmacy.
Field hospitals are normally used for treating wounded service members during combat. But military officials feel these facilities could help unburden local hospitals.
"That's going to put a demand on both our resources and our doctors and nurses and other medical professionals. But we think we can manage it. We're there to support the American people while ensuring that we can still perform our national security mission," Esper said.
These deployments consist of active-duty soldiers, not guardsmen. There has been a lot of concern that activating the National Guard could cause a shortage of medical professionals for civilians. So this is why military officials are using active-duty service members to carry out this mission.