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Pics/Video: Empire State Building flashes red like an ambulance in tribute to health providers

The Empire State Building, a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. (Sam valadi/Flickr)
March 31, 2020

The Empire State Building in New York City was illuminated in the flashing red and white colors of an ambulance Monday night as a tribute to the hospital workers combatting coronavirus.

The official Twitter account of the Empire State Building said the signature white lights were replaced by the red lights, symbolizing “the heartbeat of America,” and the red and white siren on the mast of the building, to represent the “heroic emergency workers on the front line of the fight.”

The building was also set to play a music-to-light show, with the lights tuned to the song “Empire State of Mind” by Alicia Keys.

CNN posted a compilation of two videos featuring the building’s light display.

New York has been one of the states hardest hit by the ongoing spread of coronavirus. The state has more than 67,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 1,300 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus case tracking map on Tuesday.

In total, the U.S. has surpassed 164,000 coronavirus cases nationwide and has seen more than 3,100 deaths.

It is not uncommon for the lights on the Empire State Building to be changed in recognition of special events. The building was changed to red when President Donald Trump won the GOP primary in 2016. The building was also lit orange for gun violence awareness, and has also been kept dark in recognition of the victims of shooting attacks.

Various efforts have been made in New York to gather hospital equipment and expand the state’s medical capacity. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers set up a makeshift hospital at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City last week and the U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort has been sent to New York City to relieve the state’s strained hospital systems.