LOS ANGELES OFFICIALS EXPRESS GRATITUDE FOR USNS MERCY SUPPORT DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC AS SHIP DEPARTS PORT OF LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES – May 15, 2020 – As the USNS Mercy departed the Port of Los Angeles today for its home port of San Diego, City of Los Angeles officials praised her crew and frontline staff for boosting the city’s preparedness combating the COVID-19 pandemic over the last seven weeks.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the sailors and medical staff of the USNS Mercy for their selfless service,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This crisis is far from over — and we will continue to work with our local, state, and federal partners to deliver resources that will save lives.”
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The Naval hospital ship arrived at the Port on March 27 to serve as a referral hospital for non-coronavirus health cases, handling acute trauma case overloads and other urgent health care needs so local-area hospitals could focus primarily on treating coronavirus patients.
"This whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic at the direction of FEMA and in support of the State of California, Los Angeles County and the City of Los Angeles has been a one-of-a-kind mission," said Mission Commander, Capt. Daniel Cobian, Commodore Destroyer Squadron 21. "We provided the framework for the medical treatment facility to meet the mission and be the relief valve, freeing up beds at local hospitals. I have continued to be impressed with how the Mercy crew came together and worked toward this goal. I have every confidence that the personnel from Mercy who will continue to work at the skilled nursing facilities as the ship returns to San Diego will continue to provide the high-quality medical care that has been the hallmark of this mission."
“Anticipating and planning for all possible scenarios around the coronavirus outbreak has been a key strategy for the City,” said Jeff Gorell, Deputy Mayor of the City of Los Angeles for Homeland Security and Public Safety. “The USNS Mercy reflects how powerful partnerships and service will guide us through this crisis."
“The USNS Mercy deployment to Los Angeles exemplifies the cooperative spirit of federal, state and local government agencies, which have been diligently working together and collaboratively to battle COVID-19,” said Gene Seroka, Executive Director of the Port of Los Angeles and Chief Logistics Officer for the City of Los Angeles. “By working together, we can offer the best line of defense for curbing and eradicating this virus.”
“The Los Angeles Port Police was honored to serve alongside the U.S. Navy and Marines to protect the USNS Mercy while at our port,” said Tom Gazsi, Deputy Executive Director and Chief of Public Safety and Emergency Management at the Port of Los Angeles. “We are deeply grateful and salute all those on board for their hard work and dedication in helping our region fight this pandemic.”
The Port of Los Angeles remains open with all terminals operational during the COVID-19 pandemic. North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $276 billion in trade during 2019. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs in the five-county Southern California region.