Why an Army Field Hospital Set Up To Alleviate a Wuhan Coronavirus Surge Is Closing Up Shop in Seattle

Posted: Apr 10, 2020 6:00 AM
Why an Army Field Hospital Set Up To Alleviate a Wuhan Coronavirus Surge Is Closing Up Shop in Seattle

Source: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

*Headline and text have been tweaked to reflect accuracy. The original post said this field hospital was meant to treat Wuhan coronavirus patients. It was meant to treat those who weren't infected but needed medical assistance without fear of contracting the disease at local medical centers. I apologize for the error.*


The Wuhan coronavirus has killed over 16,000 Americans. It has infected another 463,000. The disease is highly contagious. It’s a double-edged sword. For those with mild symptoms to the asymptotic, they can spread this all over, hence the social distancing protocols which are having a huge effect. The total projected death toll has been revised down to around 60,000 from 100-200,000. We’re not out of the woods, but we’re seeing a drop off in hospitalizations in places like New York City, which account for nearly half of all Wuhan virus cases. In Seattle, the field hospital set up by the military is closing up shop. There’s no need. After nine days, not a single patient was admitted. The hospital, which was established to help those not afflicted with the disease and prevent further spread, could have treated up to 250 people in case there was a Wuhan coronavirus surge at local hospitals (via KUOW):

The 250-bed facility, for which setup began on March 30, was intended to help Washington state's health care system tend to non Covid-19 patients in the event of a hospital surge.

But just three days after announcing the facility was ready to receive patients, officials say they're returning the hospital to the federal government.

The action is aimed at helping another state with a more significant need for hospital capacity at this time, according to the Governor's Office. The facility did not see any patients during the time it was slated to operate in Seattle.

"We requested this resource before our physical distancing strategies were fully implemented and we had considerable concerns that our hospitals would be overloaded with Covid-19 cases," Inslee said in a press release.

We’re still not in the clear yet, but it shows that the U.S. has the resources to handle this crisis. The health care system is stressed big league right now, but it’s not being overrun like in Italy. With businesses doling out hand sanitizer, medical gowns, medical masks, and ventilators—we’re going to weather this storm. My Pillow is making medical masks, churning out 10-50,000 a day, Brooks Brothers is making medical gowns, and GM is going to be making close to 100,000 ventilators within a month’s time. We’re going to win this, folks, but staying home for a few more weeks is going to be key. At the same time, the U.S. economy cannot remain shut down for another 4-6 weeks, but that’s a story for another time. 

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