FEMA Sends 85 Reefers to NYC to Serve as COVID-19 Makeshift Morgues
New York, NY – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sending 85 refrigerated tractor-trailers to local area New York City (NYC) hospitals to be used as temporary mortuaries.
Thousands of tractor-trailers are being deployed each day in America to haul essential goods and medical relief supplies in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sadly, big rigs are also now being used as makeshift morgues.
In a press briefing on Monday in Manhattan, FEMA regional administrator Thomas Von Essen said, “We are sending refrigeration trucks to New York to help with some of the problem on a temporary basis.”
NYC remains ground zero in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak as health officials on Monday confirmed the total number of cases has increased to more than 37,000.
Officials also confirmed NYC experienced 112 deaths in about 24 hours over last weekend.
As deaths continue to mount, it is placing significant pressure on the healthcare system and available morgue space.
According to the NY Post, before the COVID-19 pandemic NYC had morgue capacity for 900 bodies.
However, a spokesman for NYC’s Medical Examiner’s Office, says the city has increased capacity to approximately 3,500 in recent days in part because it purchased 45 mobile units.
Each mobile unit has capacity for 40 bodies.
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With the addition of FEMA’s reefers, NYC is expected to grow its morgue capacity to more than 7,000 as it braces for what Mayor Bill De Blasio says will likely be an “exceedingly tough” April and May.
NYC officials said big rigs have not been utilized as temporary mortuaries since 9/11.
Disturbing Video Viewed Millions of Times
Disturbing video surfaced over the weekend of workers at Brooklyn Hospital Center in Fort Greene loading dead bodies of coronavirus victims into a refrigerated trailer.
In the video, which has been viewed millions of times, a distressed New Yorker sits in his car and captures the scene on Sunday at about 10:40 a.m.
“Y’all, this is for real. This is for real y’all,” the man says. “They are putting the bodies in an 18 wheeler. Please stay inside. This is for real.”
As he struggles to come to terms with what he is witnessing, he says, “If y’all not taking this serious, this may make you want to take it serious. It’s hard to look at what I’m seeing right now. It’s hard to believe this.”
His voice begins to tremble when he once again implores, “Please stay inside!”
You can view the video below.
Brooklyn hospital. pic.twitter.com/Ip7H3PuR1M
— NYC Scanner (@NYScanner) March 29, 2020